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The Best Store Windows of the Year

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With only a few days left in 2009, it's time to look back at a year of dizzying highs and crushing lows, a year when every empty storefront held a pop-up shop and every sidewalk a sample sale line. Folks, it's the annual (three years running!) Racked Recap. This week, we'll be reliving our biggest and brightest (and saddest and darkest) moments, from the best collabs to the worst pop-up shops. Take a deep breath of the sweet, sweet nostalgia.

Despite a faltering economy New York's retail establishment still provided some of the best, most charming, and most thought-provoking merchandising in the world—specifically, a seasonally shifting bevy of amazing windows. Here, we bring you our six favorite window displays (because five slots just weren't enough).

6.) Marc's Halloween Fiasco: Oh, Marc—always irreverent, always over the top. His shops' Halloween windows were a hideous display of shrieking goblins, steaming swamps, and stacked skulls and bones. Loved it.

5.) Designer Cuisine at Saks: A tasty selection of recipes and wearables from some of our favorite cooking couturiers. Plus, the salt shakers were adorable.

4.) Winter Storm Warning at Anthropologie: Anthropologie's cute and cluttered Winter Wonderland celebrates snow in a place where snow starts to look diseased just about as soon as it falls.

3.) Kate and Jack Like Lists: The posh preppery and propriety of the holiday Kate Spade and Jack Spade windows in Soho featured lists—shopping and otherwise. Their charms take us back to those heady days in 2007—we were still broke but it was before we knew better than bothering to be aspirational.

2.) Bergdorf's Neo-Victorianism: We loved Bergdorf's tribute to the Ralph Lauren lifestyle—complete with albino taxidermy and a pelican skeleton. We knew Polo could go posh but we never thought Polo would go goth. That said, it's unfair to just name one series of Bergdorf's many masterpieces our favorite, so here are three close runners up.

1.) Moschino's House of Cards: Moschino's windows are always incredible—they could've filled all six slots on this list. But our favorite involved a Queen of Hearts and a squad of paper playing cards straight out of Alice in Wonderland. The hot air balloon dresses were a very close second, however.

Ralph Lauren - Rhinelander Mansion

867 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10021 Visit Website

Marc Jacobs Collection

385 Bleecker Street, New York, NY 10012 212 343 1490 Visit Website