(Photo Credit: Google's Window Wonderland Front Page)
Being a New Yorker, there is always a love and hate relationship with the holiday season. I love how festive and beautiful the city has become, starting with the Christmas tree in Rockefeller Center, countless holiday markets across the city and also the delightful holiday windows along Fifth Ave. However, the holiday season tends to be the busiest time of the year and it can be overwhelming. All of sudden, the streets become crowded and I need an extra 20 minutes to walk a "street" block on fifth avenue. This morning, when I came across an article on Mashable about Google's Window Wonderland. I decided to take a mini break from preparing the pre-launch sale for Genuineblox and had my first tour of holiday windows this year, "at home and online".
I was a bit doubtful about this virtual experience initially but it turned out to be great, especially for a day that was 43F outside. Eighteen retailers took part in this journey with Google to provide an online and mobile interactive tour for NYC's famous holiday windows. In addition to stunning photos, there is additional features such as 360 degree window display and an audio tour provided by each retailer. It was very inspiring to get to learn about the concepts, the efforts and the dedications from each retailer's creative team. Every single project took a whole year to plan, design, and build prototypes.
For example, the creative team from American Girl used more than 100 pounds of glitters to create the scenes about a girl's excitement during the holiday season. The team in Tiffany & Co. recreated various scenes in New York City using Tiffany jewels. All the trees in the windows are hand-jeweled. Bloomingdales created "Chandeliers" themed displays with amazing lighting sculptures for a good cause. All the sculptures will be auctioned off to support Child Mind Institute.
Overall, it was a great experience, especially with the audio guides which let me appreciate the holiday windows even more. It was fun and informative. I wouldn't have known Cartier's holiday windows this year show the view scenes of its flagship boutiques around the world. I also wouldn't have known Tory Burch's holiday windows are inspired by a black and white sketch on the designer's family's Christmas card when she was growing up. So, if you are someone who doesn't want the hassle to take your children to see holiday windows this year, or if you are someone who lives far away from New York, either a homesick expat who can't make it home this year for Christmas, or someone who has an American dream, please try out Google's Window Wonderland and enjoy the virtual holiday spirit.
Below is a list of retailers participating in alphabetical order and the themes for this year.
Lord & Taylor - "Enchanted Forest"
ABC Carpet & Home - "We"
American Girl - "Joy is dreaming of holiday magic"
Barney's New York, Barney's New York Downtown - "#LovePeaceJoyProject"
Bergdorf Goodman- "Destination Extraordinary"
Bloomingdales- "Let It Glow"
Henri Bendel- "From Bendel with 'Love"
Macy's - "Believe"
Michael Kors- "Shine"
Tiffany & Co. - "Make the world sparkle"
Polo Ralph Lauren- "Home of the Holidays"
Saks Fifth Avenue- "Land of 1000 Delights"