It's that time of year again when New York's biggest department stores bring out the big guns with their holiday window displays. Bergdorf Goodman decided to up the fantasy and drama quotient with their 2011 windows entitled “Carnival of the Animals.” Taking inspiration from diverse settings reimagined in various materials and the animals that dwell there, the department store transformed five of their main Fifth Avenue windows into wonderfully wild themes.
David Hoey and his visual team spent the past two years planning, building and collecting antiques for this big moment.
Above: “Testing the Waters” – Completely encrusted with hand-cut Italian mosaic tile, this intensely blue window is meant to depict an undersea fantasy. The single mannequin is dressed in a seashell dress from the Alexander McQueen Spring 2012 collection. At 10 months, it was the most labor-intensive window display in Bergdorf Goodman's history!
“Brass Menagerie” – This is a tropical forest of metal and mirror with foliage made of brass and steel. The metal birds were made in the 1970s by artist Sergio Bustamante. Look deep inside and you'll see a fantasy recording studio with vintage microphones. There's also a giant brass birdcage and the floor is covered several inches deep with a sea of copper pennies. The dress was designed by Naeem Khan.
“Teacher's Pet” – This scene was created almost entirely out of paper! (Make that 300 different types of paper.) The classroom is filled with black and white paper animals, including a life-sized paper zebra, ostrich, panda bear, aardvark, and white peacock. The teacher is dressed fashionably in a black and white Marchesa gown.
“Breaking the Ice” – A mid-afternoon arctic garden party was the theme of this window display. Guests include “couture plush” animals such as polar bears, a moose, an arctic mountain goat, a seal, and a of pair wolves. (Did you notice the champagne popping monkey?) All of the animals have been upholstered in luxe white textiles and appliqud with icy crystals, beads, and sequins. A Baccarat chandelier hangs in the background while the party hostess dons a dress and one-of-a-kind cape by J. Mendel.
“Artists and Models” – This wood and leather folk-art scene brings animals from all over the world together. The setting is a sculptor's studio out of a folk tale who's surrounded by wooden creatures. The mannequin is the sculptor.
These wild creations will remain on display through January 3, 2012.