The 8 Best Holiday Window Displays in the World

The unveiling of window displays for the Christmas season is felt all over the world, though most notably in New York City as thousands of people turn out each year to experience this magical time of year. From interactive displays with animated figures to seven million crystals which were hand set to teams of ice sculptors there seems to be no bounds as to what can be done inside these windows. Huge teams spend months and thousands of hours creating these magical works of arts so without further delay, here are the 8 best holiday window displays in the world to check out in 2015:

8. Barneys, New York

The theme in 2015 for Barneys is “Chillin’ Out” and they have worked hard to bring the ice from outside, inside. Two of the giant windows have been transformed into giant walk in freezers that feature more than 2000 individual icicles. These icicles receive a steady stream of mist which allows them to morph and grow, and choreographed lighting along with music makes this a unique frozen experience. Another window features Penny, the very chill penguin who inspired creators to re-imagine the classic childhood “Penguin Chase” toy that sends chilly birds around a track. Recreated into a full size racecourse, watch as these crystal-encrusted birds sail through an icy mountain-scape. Throughout the holiday season a team of ice sculptors can also be seen transforming blocks of crystal clear ice into holiday themed works of art.

7. Selfridges, London

It was the first store in the world to unveil its festive window display, featuring over 12 windows dedicated to the 12 zodiac signs. Influenced by a ‘Journey to the Stars’, planning these windows took well over a year and staff responsible for these windows actually took courses in astrology in order to get these right. Each window takes a very modern take on the zodiac with a mannequin representing each sign, complete with a bespoke headdress from various designers. For example, Pisces sees three mermaids dubbed as the ladies of the lake, each wearing a handmade tail made of 1,000 laser cut scales and 1,500 crystals. Interestingly enough, there are no signs of Christmas trees or Santa Claus and unlike other competitors, these windows do not feature a single product. The result, an ultra-modern take on Christmas featuring a unique twist on the holiday season.

6. Bergdorf Goodman, New York

The theme of these holiday windows is “Brilliant Holiday” and these windows certainly shine, adorned with more than seven million crystals. Designed to celebrate Swarovski’s 120 years in business, Bergdorf certainly did not hold back this year. The windows here take on a fantastical feeling, featuring a monkey fortune teller who is gazing into a crystal ball and a faux-pearl-studded Poseidon who is presiding over the sea. Considered one of the sparkliest windows of all time, it is certainly worth checking out. Just don’t expect to be able to afford anything in this window, as the dresses are even covered in hand-set crystals.

5. Printemps, Paris

In what appears to be a very clever play, Printemps took advantage of the Climate Change Conference held in Paris this year and dedicated their windows to bringing a little spring into winter. Celebrating their 150th anniversary this year, Printemps brought to life a story about a fairy which has the power to conjure spring in the middle of winter. Window displays are filled with beautiful flowers as well as a light show on the façade of the store. The rose-tinted windows overflow with said flowers, ensuring that Paris is always in bloom.

4. Tiffany & Co, New York

Step back into the 19th century at these windows at Tiffany & Co where each window depicts a fairy-tale like winter diorama. It seems the closer you get to these windows the more one can see, including tiny porcelain people browsing miniature shops, crystal encrusted chandeliers, a tree covered in Tiffany designs and a bridge made of bows. It’s not just the windows that make this display so incredible though, the whole exterior is actually part of the show and host an eye-popping light show that is inspired by the Tiffany diamond’s display at the 1939 World Fair.

3. Harvey Nichols, London

It’s a Studio 54-inspired Christmas window display at Harvey Nichols in London featuring a million glitter flakes, 300,00 sequins and 600 mirror balls. Celebrating the disco-era made famous by John Travolta in the film Saturday Night Fever, each window features giant faces that have been hand-crafted from 15,000 gift boxes as the centerpiece in each. Each character portrays the different personalities of the disco movement, from a diva with light up hair and sunglasses to a prince of ice with hair frozen into icicles. Each 3D character is surrounded by twinkling lights and stars and everything from mannequins to disco balls is used to emphasize the facial features. The enlarged sequins were actually applied by hand, designed to gently shimmer as shoppers go from one window to the next. Over 15 kg of glue sticks and 30,000 staples were used to create these magical window displays which will turn thousands of heads this season.

2. Galeries Lafayette, Paris

‘May the force be with you this holiday season’ is the message these window displays are throwing out. Experience Christmas from another planet as you explore this intergalactic world that is full of cheer and humor. First off experience the windows full of robots, spaceships, cosmic gardens full of strange insects, the milky way and plenty of stars. Disney also makes an appearance in some of the window displays here as Jedi and his robots take center stage in anticipation of the new Stars Wars movie, as well as a collection of Storm Trooper helmets designed by artists. A huge Christmas tree outfitted in gold and silver is also displayed under the dome.

1. Lord & Taylor, New York

“A few of our favorite things” is the theme for this epic window display at Lord & Taylor. Take for example the sweetshop where the cupcakes look so real you can almost taste the buttermilk, or how about the cheesy gingerbread kingdom where adorable gingerbread men line the window. A larger than life cuckoo clock is littered with woodland critters including bunnies, squirrels and owls, while 24 windows open and close in a mansion revealing surprises during the countdown to Christmas. The scenes are highly detailed and animated, complete with moving parts and projections and its one of the most animated displays of the season. There is in fact so much motion in the window that every time you look, you see something new. Traditional, festive and highly creative , it’s easy to spend hours looking through these holiday windows.