If you’re one to admire our holiday windows each year, you know that we’re not one to celebrate the obvious. David Hoey and our windows team prefer dazzling with the deceptively simple and quiet element of surprise. This year our Fifth Avenue windows imagined a variety of time-honored holidays cast in a frozen landscape. Holidays on Ice, explained Hoey, “give(s) equal billing to a year’s worth of holidays—not only the wintry ones. All of them will be icebound. Even the Fourth of July.” This isn’t the first time Hoey has celebrated classic American holidays; once our 58th street windows dedicated themselves to June’s Flag Day while in years past Fifth Avenue adopts a witchy October splendor.
Introduced Tuesday night via an icy spectacular, Fifth Avenue’s large windows celebrate Arbor Day, the Fourth of July, April Fool’s Day, Valentine’s Day and Halloween, while the avenue’s smaller windows continue in theme with Thanksgiving, Mardi Gras, New Year’s Eve and Groundhog Day.
ARBOR DAY — Imagine a split-level forest clearing. The vista and joie de vivre speak a sunny April day, however icicles cling to the ten-foot tree’s bare, porcelain branches. Dressed in Alexander McQueen Resort, our lady casually sits, surrounded by trembling crystal leaves and flowers. You almost can imagine the porcelain fauna (ranging from butterflies to a Komodo dragon) bursting into animated, spontaneous song. Using one of his favorite techniques, Hoey gives us a glance of the icy roots creeping below the joyful, grassy scene.
FASHION IN THE FOURTH OF JULY — Polar patriotic pageantry (with a feather on top). Featuring a full-scale Colonial building facade replica, this frozen scape positions our lady in Rodarte; her dapper soldiers sport Thom Browne New York. This is a parade of patriotism: flags, bunting and pennants fly from above while an icy eagle spreads its wings. APRIL FOOL’S DAY — Each year one of our holiday windows exhibits a favorite visual trick. Last year’s Follies sported a bird’s eye perspective; April Fool’s Day pulled out all of the stops with a less-than-subtle prank: an upside-down garden party. Everything — from the swinging primate and dancing bear topiaries to the ragged rows of icicles — are topsy turvy upside-down. How does our mannequin’s Oscar de la Renta gown defy gravity’s weight? That’s a secret she’ll never tell.
VALENTINE’S DAY — In classic maximalism style, Valentine’s Day is a rosy feast for the eyes. This luminous, cave-like boudoir is a blooming confection of roses, lilies, pastries and bon-bons, jewels and a glistening, icicle-laden chandelier. Frosty cherubs and poodles tend to our Giambattista Valli Couture and Oscar de la Renta-clad mannequin who demurely sits at her ice-carved writing desk. We only can dream of the breathless love letters she pens.
HALLOWEEN — Spirits are aloft in this glittering, high Gothic masquerade. Behind a Swarovski crystal-flecked spider web, you’ll find a towering haunted mansion glazed in black ice. What ghostly secrets does it hold? This meticulously-crafted château is a replica of the immense Vanderbilt mansion that once marked Fifth Avenue and 58th Street (it once was the largest home in America). Playing with scale and tricks of the eye, a nine-foot mannequin peeks out from the fortress’ top window while smaller mannequins hide in the shadows. Honoring holiday windows’ tradition, evening designer Naeem Khan fashioned a custom onyx plumed gown to dress this long-limbed subject.
BG Vision: Read our exclusive interview with David Hoey
Photo copyrights © Ricky Zehavibegin slideshow