|An unexpected emotional reaction to a sneak peek of preparations for Berdorf's iconic holiday window displays had me scrambling for tissues in a back room.
|By chance, my ensemble for the day's excursion coordinated perfectly with the dapper characters that were handcrafted for one of this year's magical holiday window displays.
I wasn't sad. I was just...overwhelmed. I was there with the IMA Fashion Arts Society for a special behind the scenes look at the historic department store that is a legitimate NYC tourist attraction in its own right. It's even the subject of a documentary, "Scatter My Ashes at Bergdorf's" (which I highly recommend, by the way).
|Of course a visit to Bergdorf's called for a bit of shopping. It is, after all, a department store.
Bergdorf's is known the world over for its creative seasonal window displays. So much more than run of the mill merchandising, these dioramas are magic - they tell a visual story that delights man, woman, and child alike. You may think me silly to wax poetic about windows but, if you've ever walked down 5th Avenue at the holidays, maybe you understand.
|This year's windows feature a "To NewYork with Love" theme, and each is evocative of the city's appreciation for the arts; this window pays tribute to the New York Historical Society. Learn more about ALL of this year's windows and glimpse them here.
The window installations are art. Each one is months in the making, and takes a crew of full-time professional artists and craftsmen hundreds of hours to create. The Christmas holiday windows are particularly special, and each year's designs are a closely guarded secret until their unveiling in mid-November. And so it was that I found myself tearing up in the basement of Bergdorf's amidst mannequins and a well-dressed minotaur...elements of this year's windows in the making.
|Like kids in a candy store, we sang and danced our way through the in progress art installations.
I was overwhelmed that we were getting such an intimate look at the creative process. I was stunned at the level of detail and craftsmanship that goes into each exhibit. I was shocked that we were getting the inside scoop on the HOLIDAY WINDOWS, of all things, and even more so that we were permitted to take some pictures with a promise that we wouldn't divulge any images before the windows were unveiled (which was just last week).
This special Bergdorf's experience wouldn't have been possible but for the Fashion Arts Society, and the women who accompanied me on the trip have woven a rich tapestry of friendship in my life that is far more valuable than our mutual appreciation of textiles and style. I was, to be honest, a bit embarrassed to be inexplicably emotional in the basement of Bergdorf's. But even as I tried to hide my tears and dab my eyes, I was surrounded with hugs and tissues and good-natured laughter that allowed me to simply embrace all that I was feeling, the top note of which was...joy.
|My tiny tears turned into full-fledged sobs...
It was an experience I'll never forget, and last week my Fashion Arts friend Dawn brought all those same emotions to the surface when she presented me with a handkerchief embroidered with the store's initials and the date of our visit. Her thoughtful gesture once again had tears welling up in my eyes, but I resisted the urge to use her gift to dry them - I'm saving it for my next visit to Bergdorf's!
Fashion is what you buy; Style is what you do with it!