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NYC Holiday Windows Tournament Round Five: Saks Fifth Avenue vs. Bergdorf Goodman

By
Adam Goldman
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Holiday window displays are a staple of the season in New York. But you're busy buying presents, seeing the sights, sampling our many exquisite hot chocolates. What's to be done? Luckily we've got you covered: we've scoped out all the major players and we're gonna tell you which holiday window display you simply can't miss. With brackets! Buckle up, it's about to get festive.

Two displays enter, one display leaves. Who's it gonna be?

Saks Fifth Avenue vs. Bergdorf Goodman

The time has come for these two titans to face off! Saks went all-out with a snowy Frozen-themed display, but Bergdorf stepped up with a whole variety of diverse visual ideas. Who will move on to our next round?

Courtesy BFA for Saks

Courtesy Time Out/Ali Garber

Holiday Cheer: This one is tricky, because neither Frozen nor Bergdorf's general "GoodTimes" themes are specifically holiday-related. That being said, Frozen is at least on everybody's mind right now because it's got a sequel in cinemas, and also... you know. Magical ice powers.

Advantage: Saks Fifth Avenue

Spectacle: These are both stop-you-in-your-tracks displays. They're both colorful and eye-catching. What I love about Bergdorf's offering is the variety of imagery on display; our initial coverage didn't even mention the gem-encrusted donuts (?) on a roller coaster (??) featured in other nearby windows. However, Saks lit up the entire side of the building. This one is too close to call, I'm afraid.

Courtesy Time Out/Ali Garber

Courtesy BFA for Saks

Advantage: Tie

Concept: This category is a little easier: Frozen is fun, but originality goes a long way. I think what we're discovering is that there are a few philosophies about these window displays: Are they for kids, or should they entertain people of all ages? Should they celebrate any particular holiday, or the season in general? I've gotta give this one to the windows that make you say "wow," whether you're an Elsa stan or not.

Advantage: Bergdorf Goodman

Execution: Again, how to choose the best from two great options? The Frozen windows are magical, and they really capture the animation style they're based on. But I'm just blown away by the ambition of Bergdorf's ideas: That overhead perspective thing is hard to pull off! And they pull some cool little meta-tricks, too, like that huge snake slithering around the frame of their jungle scene. The Bergdorf display is good, man.

Advantage: Bergdorf Goodman

Winner: Bergdorf Goodman!

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