Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Bergdorf Goodman's Holiday Windows


Bergdorf's 'Ice' Capades

One of the holiday windows
(Click on images for larger vews)
Photos Courtesy of Bergdorf Goodman

Nothing reins in the holiday season quite like the unveiling of Bergdorf Goodman’s storied Holiday Windows. And because it happened last night, in high (and highly unusual style I might add), I guess we can say the holiday season is now officially under way. The invitation for the event (which was open to the public), noted the windows would be revealed between 6 and 7 (“6:30 sharp”), and the crowds began forming early on (in front of the store and across the street, where the BG men’s store is).Hot chocolate was kindly provided to help ward off the chill; and it WAS seasonably cold and windy, which was perfect for the evening, the time of the year, and particularly, the windows’ theme, which this years is Holidays on Ice (the focus is on holidays like July 4th, April Fool’s Day, Arbor Day, Valentines’ Day, Groundhog Day, etc., visually re imagined in the snow).


But as my fingers began to freeze (and of those around me), waiting outside, I started thinking a more apt name would be, ‘Bystanders on Ice’. Regardless, it was obvious we were in for some sort of unusual treat this year, as ropes were suspended from the iconic store’s 5th Avenue façade, and several guys, clad in red work uniforms, tended to the ropes on the ground. Who was coming down? Did Bergdorf’s actually procure the real Saint Nick for the festivities? (Maybe they offered him a hefty gift certificate at the men’s store?) Would it be Linda Fargo dressed to the nines? (Nothing she does could surprise me, and I mean that in the best way possible). Someone next to me joked that it might be Miley Cyrus twerking all the way down in her 5th Avenue best (or would it be her birthday suit?)


At around 6:30, Linda Fargo, clad in a holiday perfect gold coat, made her appearance. With loudspeaker in hand, she welcomed everyone and noted that Bergdorf Goodman has become known for many things in its storied  history; among them, fabulous fashion (“check!”), and their unrivaled windows (“check!”), and she welcomed everyone to what she referred to as Bergdorf’s “first time ever window unveiling event”. She gave special thanks to the brilliant David Hoey, BG’s famed Senior Director of Visual Presentation, who was naturally, on hand. She then introduced Bravo’s Andy Cohen who spoke about his love for New York, especially during the holidays, specifically, the city’s magical holiday windows, the most incredible of which are Bergdorf Goodman’s. He promised that our wait would be well worth it and said that what we were about to see would be mind blowing.


Soon thereafter, with headlights illuminating the store and pointing to the sky, we could see the first of 5 acrobats emerging from the windows high up. Suspended from thick ropes and dressed in red second skin ensembles that festively glowed in the dark, they were all members of the gravity defying Brooklyn based troupe, Streb,  led by award-winning choreographer Elizabeth Streb. Known for their extreme action, their routines always combine a mixture of slam dancing, human flight and wild action sport, and have been aptly described as  “part circus, part sporting event, part theatre, part student recital, and part scrupulous time motion energy investigation.” They slowly descended while performing a choreographed mind blowing routine to the beat of an energetic sound track and once on the ground, the curtains to the windows were finally revealed. It was pretty spectacular (what will they do next?)

 No matter how much of a risky high ‘wire’ act retail is, nothing could top Steb’s hijinks. Speaking of which, it IS all about retail and shopping, after all. And this year, in addition to the window revealing ceremony, Bergdorf Goodman and New Yorkers for Children (NYFC), hosted a ‘spirited’ (champagne was flowing) and jam packed charity shopping event from 7 – 11, with 10 percent of the proceeds going to the non-profit organization that aides the child welfare community and children in foster care. Among the designers who were on hand: George Malkemus of Manolo Blahnik, Carly Cushnie & Michelle Ochs of Cushnie & Ochs, Eddie Borgo, Wes Gordon, Jana Matheson of Judith Leiber, Michelle Smith of Milly.




-Marilyn Kirschner




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