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BG Stories: A Winter Wonderland

It was 2006, November going on to December; my very first winter in New York. Trees were balding in Central Park, and the air froze your lungs when you inhaled too fast.  Fall was long gone.

I stepped out of my apartment at exactly 10pm on a Thursday night. Geared up with a pair of faux fur earmuff and wool gloves, I zipped up my long puffer jacket with a camera in my hand. I was on assignment for my visual merchandising class, scouting windows to photograph.

Anyone who’s lived in New York for more than a month knows where to go for fabulous window displays. Bergdorf Goodman was the first on my checklist.  I jumped off the subway and walked towards 5th Avenue and 58th Street, snowflakes started to drift from above and the sidewalks soon were veiled in a thin layer of fresh white snow. The night was quiet; the air was frozen.  My fingers were numb.  Then, there they were: thee Christmas windows at Bergdorf Goodman.

I stood there, with my mouth wide open… I wasn’t in New York anymore; instead I was in a winter wonderland with iced penguins, polar bears, and a Parisian Circus.  All I wanted to do was to dream. Every window was touched with carefully-crafted details; I was part of BG’s passion and pride for the holiday season.

“Decorate” enchanted me.  For minutes, I dreamed to be the little white mouse by the gingerbread recipe so I could sneak around different themes and just be inspired. It was more than a holiday window; it was art.

The windows magically warmed up the night.  This was the first night in a long time I didn’t feel the winter’s chill on the streets of New York.  Suddenly I remembered how much I love and miss Christmas. Half an hour later, unwilling to take my eyes off the windows, I picked up my camera and did what I came here to do: homework. Eventually, inspired by BG’s windows, I got an A for my visual merchandising class and forever fall in love with beautiful window designs.

The next morning, I ran to a bookstore and splurged on Linda Fargo’s Dreams Through the Glass, just to catch up on the creativities of the BG windows that I’ve missed.

From that cold night on, I’ve become a regular admirer of Bergdorf Goodman’s window, and although I have seen many great visual designs since then, nothing exceeds what they create for the holidays. It is official, BG gave “window shopping” a brand new meaning, and of course, Christmas is never complete without a trip to Bergdorf Goodman’s holiday window.

— Shannon Yang

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