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Henri Bendel says, "I'd rather sparkle and shine," and they're not speaking metaphorically, because they've loaded a truck of Swarovski Elements into their fantastically over-the-top holiday windows. The crystal-encrusted mannequins are having a "Brown and White Ball", a crazy, circus-themed holiday burlesque masquerade party and jam session with copious amounts of champagne and musical instruments, and one of them appears to be live-blogging it on a very, very shiny laptop.
The best part by far is that under the floorboards, the mice are having their own fantastic holiday party. Frankly, their party looks like more fun, and it's not just because a single champagne bottle contains roughly eight times a guest's body mass. The little mice mannequins have a lot of personality, and some of them are dressed as Swarovski-stealing pirates.
There's no fashion on display unless you have the time and inclination to hand-glue a million rhinestones on your body, but we get the holiday fashion message loud and clear: Sparkle. The accessories and housewares on display are predictably glitzy and fabulous, with a lot of enormous chains and baubles that could kick the teeth out of any so-called "statement" jewelry, and some huge, jeweled cuff bracelets that we think could deflect bullets.
These holiday windows seem to be doing their job and getting people into the spirit of the season. We never realized how much we look like tourists when we take these pictures, but no fewer than three kindly older pedestrians asked us if we wanted them to take photos of us with the Bendel windows. Maybe it's the season, or maybe people are just friendlier south of 57th St., because that never happens when we're shooting Bergdorf.
· In the Window: Barneys is Having a Witty Holiday [Racked]