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2009 November 19

Through Bergdorf’s Looking Glass

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Bergdorf Goodman's "Curiouser and Curiouser" window display Bergdorf Goodman's "Curiouser and Curiouser" window display
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(NEW YORK) Winter in New York is a veritable window wonderland, and this year, window designer David Hoey and his team at Bergdorf Goodman are serving up a buffet of fantastical visual treats. The theme is "Curiouser and Curiouser," with dizzying displays inspired by the inventive and whimsical works of Lewis Carroll, as each window makes an oblique reference to one of the author’s stories, poems or illustrations. The Daily caught up with Hoey as he worked tirelessly on the corner of 5th Avenue and 58th Street on a frigid night (sans jacket!) to pull the magical spectacle together. The project takes upwards of a year to conceive and execute, and the windows themselves take six months to produce, with people working around the clock during the final home stretch.

Hoey was in the process of finishing the red and black "game window," stepping back to soak in the display and then getting inside the window himself to make adjustments. "The fashion that eventually goes into the window is not decided upon when we land on a theme," he explained. "First, we choose an idea and stick with it. The further along in the year we get, we start looking at the runway shows and hope we can find things to fit our theme. Miraculously, we always luck out! Sometimes it looks like we started with the dress and worked the window around it." McQueen, fittingly, will go in the card game room, featured alongside kings and jokers.

"We’re very obsessive about materials," Hoey revealed. "We like to choose one and then make an entire window out of it." This year the Bergdorf super-team dreamed up realms made entirely of paper and glass. With a host of fantasy lands to choose from, The Daily had to ask the window wunderkind which room he would choose to spend the night in. He answered without missing a beat. "The wooden staircase room!" Hoey’s personal favorite resembles a jigsaw puzzle pieced together with delicate staircases from a bevy of dollhouses, which took a year and a half to collect, scouring all corners of the world from tiny antique stores to eBay. "I really can’t believe this myself, and I’ve seen the entire process!" Hoey admitted.

Bergdorf Goodman invites you to venture into the other side of the looking glass, where Alice, white rabbits, kings and McQueens await, from Friday, November 20th until January 6th. Bill Cunningham is surely waiting eagerly.

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