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Lord and Taylor, nostalgic elegance in store

15 Dec
Christmas window displays have always played on nostalgia, we have Charles Dickens to thank for that. For years we saw animated 19th. Century London in department store windows (not that there is anything wrong with that) this years crop of display windows have put a new spin on the theme. Lord and Taylor is one of the few that have year after year relied on animation to capture the passing pedestrians attention. This year the store has departed from their usual. The current installation still finds its roots in turn of the century nostalgia with a twist. The use of a chaotic arrangement mixed with printed two-dimensional elements ( slightly reminiscent of a Bloomingdale’s approach) is a welcome change. A change I suspect is due to our poor economy an edict from management to “show the merchandise” and abandon the English “Christmas village” for an American approach. The results are wonderful, discreet product placement and minimal animation, (especially the paper doll dress change) is adorable. The miniature puppets dressed to kill and the images of L&T from long ago make for a throughly charming side-walk experience. Kodos to the display team for a beautiful set of windows.

A Parisienne Christmas

8 Dec



Christmas in Paris, Galleries Lafayette

27 Nov
The French prefer the more child-like aspects of Christmas, as is demonstrated here in the photos from the Galleries Lafayette the more whimsy the better. I love it, much humor and delight
Clock works have been turning up a great deal as of late, a bit of Steampunk is everywhere this year.

Bergdorf Goodman’s Window Reveal

27 Nov
The always spectacular B. G. Windows were revealed this year by a team of flying acrobats. The “Holiday on Ice” theme maintains the stores tradition of highly produced, “dense with detail” display, that is B.G.s trade mark. This year acrobats flying above the crowd drew back the curtains on another Christmas installation.  No store in the U.S. does it better than the incomparable Bergdorf Goodman.

Christmas Display

25 Nov
Everyone has memories lingering of the small details of Christmas past. My obsession with miniature architecture is rooted in the traditions of my paternal grandmother. She was a master of display. Every Christmas Eve after we were sent to bed [the tree never went up until Christmas eve] she would set up her Christmas village under her tree. A veritable extravaganza of her wonderful lit cardboard houses ( putz as they are refered to) and a beautiful 20’s vintage German dollhouse that belonged to my father. She also owned a model of a Russian Orthodox church, crafted by a cousin, complete with its “onion dome” a tribute to her Slovak  roots in the rural Pennsylvania coal mining regions.
My Granny had great Christmas decor, in her window she would display a home-made wooden electrified cross, a rarity these days, but for her Christ was the reason for the season, and of course us, her grand children. Christmas morning was always a thrill at my Granny’s due to she celebrated Russian Christmas [the Epiphany] on January 6th. We were excused from school to celebrate a second Christmas, an event much envied by my schoolmates.
Christmas the way it used to feel
All the wonderful little houses
All her Christmas suburban sprawl surrounded “the big show” the nativity, a stable brightly lit by a bulb surrounded with a tin star, she would place the figures, pre war hand-painted paper mache effigies all staring lovingly at the baby Jesus, including the livestock, a cow, a donkey a few sheep. The stable is lost, but I still have the figures which I rescued years ago, after her passing [a good move on my part] I have set up the nativity every year since, to continue her tradition and remember my Granny, the woman who passed her talents for display on to me.
Go to Papa’s site for a look at Christmas past. good stuff


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