I’ll Take the ‘Fifth’
Part of Bergdorf's holiday windows display.
That little slice of retail heaven right here in New York (I’m referring of course, to the corner of 57th and 5th Avenue), has oft been described as the “crossroads of the world”. And rightly so. This now famous intersection was immortalized by Audrey Hepburn in ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s’; but while Tiffany & Company proudly remains in its proper location, the names and tenants of some of the other famed landmark buildings in the immediate vicinity have come and gone (having fallen victim to these dour economic times). Thankfully, the iconic Bergdorf Goodman, a name long synonymous with luxury retail, has remained gloriously ensconced on 5th Avenue between 57th and 58th streets since 1928.
One of the store’s most signature trademarks are its windows; specifically, those fantastical holiday windows. A collaboration of the imagination, wit, genius, and creativity of Linda Fargo, (Senior Vice President, Women’s Fashion Director, Store Presentation), and David Hoey, (Director of Visual Presentation), their combined efforts have truly set the standard and raised the bar for all the others. The dynamic duo were recently profiled in an informative and entertaining article that appeared in the ‘Thursday Styles’ section of The New York Times (“Window-Dressing Warriors”, by Douglas Quenqua, November 3, 2010) and I found myself tickled by a number of David’s observations: “This job is part architect and part cake designer”, and “We take our frivolity very seriously”. Most recently, their work (“Bergdorf’s best windows over the past two decades”, is how it was described), has been immortalized in a pricey ($550), weighty (17 pounds), and limited edition (there are only 1000 copies) handmade coffee table book, ‘Windows at Bergdorf Goodman’, published by Assouline which is only available at BG here in New York and at Assouline Boutiques worldwide.
Linda Fargo autographing copies of the book.
In fact, Assouline co sponsored last night’s fittingly jam packed and festive cocktail soiree held at the fabled store, in honor of the unveiling of its 2010 holiday windows (the overall theme seems to be fantastical journeys, travels and excursions), and naturally, the highly visual collectors items, were for sale. Artfully stacked in a corner of the main floor that normally serves as the Hermes boutique were on sale (what did they do with all those scarves?), a long line quickly formed as Linda Fargo, looking svelte and utterly glamorous in a vintage floor length black, white J. Mendel Fur coat, chic wide black enamel cuffs, and red lips, hurriedly began to autograph copies.
Fashion model Elettra Rosellini Wiedemann
Among those who attended were Joe Zee, Gilles Mendel, Elettra Rosellini Wiedemann, Marsha Mishaan, Judy Licht and Jerry Della Femina, Patrick McDonald, Michelle Harper, Bill Cunningham, Patrick McMullen, and Alber Elbaz (who had just come from his H&M/Lanvin fashion show extravaganza, held conveniently a few blocks away at the Taj Pierre Hotel). The animated crowd mingled throughout the main floor where champagne, wine, and exotic cocktails from an open bar, were being served, as well as hot cider, which was offered to guests both inside and outside as they waited to go into the store (how welcoming on a raw and damp evening), and there were accompanying nibbles to go along with the drinks. There was also a live performance later on in the evening, by Prince Poppycock. (To see photos of all important attendees go to Patrick McMullan.com)
What more can I say? It’s now official: the holiday season is off and running!