clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

In The Holiday Windows: Henri Bendel Goes For The Gold

Racked is no longer publishing. Thank you to everyone who read our work over the years. The archives will remain available here; for new stories, head over to, where our staff is covering consumer culture for The Goods by Vox. You can also see what we’re up to by signing up here.

The holiday season isn't just about conspicuous consumption. It's also about showy trimmings—brightly-printed wrapping paper, glossy ornaments, strings of lights. The most refined seasonal decorations are the ephemeral pieces of art cropping up in the windows of major department stores. Throughout the week, we'll be showcasing some of the most elaborate public displays for your viewing pleasure; up to bat today is Henri Bendel.

[Photos by Krieger; click to enlarge]

Boutique department store Henri Bendel has gone in an interesting direction with their holiday windows this year. The store's visual director Gilberto Santana, working with the theme of a "surrealist interpretation of dreams and fantasies" (well, that's according to FWD), has created a sparkly, metallic wonderland. The thing is, though, it's hard to really tell what's going on here. We've got what looks like a mermaid, breasts falling out of her golden gown, levitating at the center of the window while below her, a female figure writhes with ecstasy as some sort of silvery substance is poured upon her near-naked body.

This display doesn't really seem to be intended for children.

Look, candy! That's a visual we can easily understand.

Henri Bendel

712 5th Avenue, Manhattan, NY 10019 (212) 247-1100 Visit Website