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Sure, it's only the first week of November, but in the world of department store retail, that's holiday window crunch time. Starting next week, the city's major department stores will begin to unveil their holiday windows, most with some sort of accompanying spectacular (Saks is doing a light show, for example). After the jump, see the complete rundown for this year's festivities.
1. Lord & Taylor: Wednesday, November 13th at 5:30pm
This year's Lord & Taylor holiday windows were inspired by vintage New York City, with scenes that will include customers buying gifts at a recreation of the department store, tons of festive décor, Santa Claus, and more. The windows will follow L&T holiday shoppers of years past during a typical day of shopping, tea and lunch, the opera, and a gift exchange. In contrast, the teen girl group Fifth Harmony will perform at the launch. See photos of the windows and a behind-the-scenes video here.
2. Henri Bendel: Thursday, November 14th at 6pm
Famed illustrator Al Hirschfeld's drawings are the inspiration behind this year's windows at Henri Bendel. The main window will depict a dinner party at a classic New York City townhouse, with guests Marilyn Monroe, Audrey Hepburn, Woody Allen, Sarah Jessica Parker, Carol Channing, Whoopi Goldberg, Liza Minnelli, and Bernadette Peters, all in the form of Hirschfeld drawings.
Inside, Charlie Chaplin will sit on top of a two-story malachite tree. Hirschfeld's original line art will also be displayed throughout the store. After the reveal, shoppers will be invited to step inside and shop, with 10% of the proceeds benefiting The Actors Fund's Al Hirschfeld Free Clinic and Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. See photos of the windows here.
3. Blomingdale's: Tuesday, November 19th at 5:30pm
Details are still a little sparse regarding what Bloomingdale's has up its sleeve, but so far we know that the displays will involve oversized presents celebrating holiday shopping from around the world—China, France, Great Britain, Italy, and New York City. Singer/songwriter Josh Groban will perform at 5:30pm, and the windows themselves will be unveiled at 6:15pm.
4. Bergdorf Goodman: Tuesday, November 19th at 6pm
This year's Bergdorf windows are called "Holiday on Ice," and will depict re-imaginings of traditional holidays throughout the year as a series of snowy frozen dioramas. An unnamed celebrity guest will introduce a surprise performance at the unveiling. See the windows here.
5. Barneys New York: Wednesday, November 20th.
Barneys will unveil its windows on the 20th, though there isn't any specific info yet on what they'll entail besides the fact that they coincide with a holiday collaboration with Jay Z. (100% of those sales will benefit the Shawn Carter Foundation.) Before the windows are unveiled at the Madison Avenue store, though, they'll debut on Instagram, starting at 10am on Wednesday. See the windows here.
6. Macy's Herald Square: Thursday, November 21st at 5pm
This year's title is "Dream...and Believe," and centers around a young boy through a "magical dreamland" of crystal forest. The unveiling will kick-off with a performance from musician Judith Hill and an appearance by two Cinderella stars, Laura Osnes and Rebecca Luker. Get ready for the heart-melt: a special Make-a-Wish Kid will officially "flip the switch" to debut the windows. See the windows here.
7. Saks Fifth Avenue: Monday, November 25th at 6:30pm
The unveiling at Saks will include a "Snowflake Spectacular," a light show that will be projected onto the store. The windows themselves will tell the story of the legendary Saks Yeti (he's rumored to live on the roof and make snow in the winter). The six animated windows will tell the Yeti's magical story, from his "life as an under-appreciated snowmaker in Siberia to his starring role as a true snowflake artist in New York." See the windows here.
Performers at the unveiling will include violinist Joshua Bell, singer Frankie Moreno, the Young People's chorus of New York City, and a performance of "Carol of the Bells" by young dancers from the from the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School at American Ballet Theatre.
· Which Department Store Had the Best Holiday Windows of 2012? [Racked NY]
· All Holiday Window Coverage