Design & Décor, Holiday

New York for the Holidays: Windows and Wonders

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“It’s the most beautiful time of the year.” …and no city in the world sports a Christmas spirit and aesthetic like New York. It is positively magical! Spending time (even if it’s as brief as a short weekend) in December in my former home town is an annual ritual that is always at the top of my list.

And what used to be just “window-wishing” is now the biggest draw for me –scoping out and studying the elaborate details and fashion trends that have fast become a major focus of the holiday windows in New York. The visual merchandisers set the bar high this year –inspiring stepped-up decorating efforts in small side street boutiques off Madison, the facades of Upper East Side townhouses and even New York’s luxury hotels.

For me, the windows at Bergdorf’s  are always the standout. This year (their largest visual investment of the year) the details were all rendered in Swarovski crystals, 7 million of them! No small (or inexpensive feat) in a collaboration prompted by the Austrian company’s 120th anniversary. The theme was “Brilliant,” and pictures cannot do it justice!


And witticisms abound…

“Winter White” is both a fashion trend and a holiday-appropriate color. Neptune seems to agree (don’t miss the crystal-pavéd lobster claw to the left of the mannequin).

And Saks Fifth Avenue carried out this white note with the theme, “Winter Palace.”




On another amusing note…right in view of the tree at Rockefeller Center, Anthropologie created a series of windows cleverly using ordinary kitchen utensils (i.e. whisks, measuring spoons, copper molds) to create patterns and backgrounds for their fashion offerings.


Hope this has added a colorful and festive note to your holidays!

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Bettie Bearden Pardee

About Bettie Bearden Pardee

Author of Private Newport and Living Newport, garden furniture designer (The Parterre Bench), national lecturer, and entertaining expert. An honoree for the second year on "The Salonniere 100 America's Best Party Hosts", she was also the host and creative producer of "The Presidential Palate: Entertaining at the White House".

6 thoughts on “New York for the Holidays: Windows and Wonders

    1. Thank you, Ruth, that’s why I did this particular blog…for all my friends who couldn’t get to NYC! Merry, Merry!

  1. Wow! The occult practices have a big presence in the windows this year. What happened to the reason for the season? Namely, Jesus? Shocking! I didn’t even see Santa or a Christmas tree.

  2. Oh My Glory! I am not in NY at all this season and will miss Bergdorf’s, L&T and Saks’ windows! Thanks for sharing these!


  3. How fun! We are heading into the city for our annual weekend to celebrate my husband’s birthday and am looking forward to strolling past shop windows.

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