Holiday Windows 2018: Bloomingdale's
This was my sixth year viewing (and photographing) the holiday windows at several of the major department stores in midtown. It’s become an after-Thanksgiving tradition for my mom and I to grab breakfast at Neil’s Coffee Shop (Gene’s Coffee Shop was closer, but unfortunately it has closed) and go see the windows at Bloomingdale’s, Bergdorf Goodman, Tiffany & Co. and Saks.
This year, we both agreed that the windows at all four stores weren’t as good as they have been in past years. Bloomingdale’s has never had my favorite windows, but this year their Grinch-themed displays were a bit better than some of their previous installations. I’m not intrinsically against corporate partnerships, and I think that while sometimes they can feel forced, they can also be done thoughtfully and artfully. The Grinch is an appropriate muse not only for its holiday themes, but for its well-established, rich visual language.
The grand New York City department store unfortunately feels endangered—Henri Bendel will close in January after 123 years in business, and Lord and Taylor will also be leaving its flagship Fifth Avenue store after spending just under 105 years in that location. Fewer department stores means fewer window displays, so I’m trying to cherish this holiday tradition while it still exists.
What I don’t love so much about this year’s Bloomingdale’s windows (and as a trend in general), is their interactive element. I always feel like a total grandma complaining about new-fangled technologies and complicated whiz-bang, but I don’t need selfie stations or karaoke machines to get me into the holiday spirit.
59th Street and Lexington Avenue
New York, NY