Midtown Manhattan at night is one of the sleepiest spots in the city that never sleeps. But, look closely, as we did on our recent visit to New York, and you’ll discover magic afoot. Up and down 5th Avenue, the elves of window display are creating their wonders in the midnight quiet. (Above, a sculptural creation takes intricate shape at Zegna.)
We’ve always been fans of window display. Perhaps it’s their ephemeral nature: enchanting us one day, then gone the next, like butterfly inspirations. It’s no surprise to us that design supernovas such as Raymond Loewy, Halston and Giorgio Armani all got their creative starts as department store window dressers (at Macys, Carson Pirie Scott, and La Rinascente, respectively).
The team at the Louis Vuitton flagship were amused to be spotted (above) fixing hundreds of arrows at exact intervals.
And the very next morning, after untold hours of work, we could enjoy a bright forest of arrows to do Robin Hood proud (above).
Bergdorf Goodman’s windows are legendary, but to us, the simplest ones are often the most sublime. The chic restraint of this conversation between bronze parrot and metallic-robed mannequin is one of the more inspired windows we can remember. (And — trend alert — if gold was a big fashion story for summer, when quite frankly it doesn’t make so much sense, just imagine how huge and opulent it will be for Autumn/Winter.)
Bergdorf also had a wonderful salute to the big costume show at the Met, featuring the designs of Schiaparelli and Prada. We’ll definitely catch that show on our next visit — it’s had great buzz — but meanwhile these windows were a wonderful taster (above).
Naturally, beautiful, witty display is not only the remit of the luxe boutiques. How enchanting is this display of peonies, each blossom floating in its own glass bubble?
And a cheeky surprise from Banana Republic, with this witty window at their Soho street store (above). What a relief to be spared another display of sensible biege suiting.