Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Window Shaping

It was exciting once again living in a larger city with a vital downtown during the holiday season.  Honestly, I did most all of my present shopping in Capitol Hill supporting smaller businesses.  However, it was a joy to go downtown into the shopping area during December.  In shopping malls that time of year, people seem stressed and hurried.  On Pine Street, people were smiling and festive.  It was just as crowded as a mall, but people seemed much happier to be there.  I guess there IS something soul-sucking about the mall.


I have to admit though, that I was disappointed in the big store windows.  In Chicago or New York, the department stores do some really fun and creative stuff in the windows.  Marshall Fields (now Macy's) windows on State Street in downtown Chicago were like a ride at Disney.  They featured magical dioramas with mechanical moving parts.  The Barney's windows in New York approached art.  So I anticipated some fun looking at the windows of our department stores downtown.

They just looked like normal store window.  Pretty, but not different or all that interesting.  Nordstrom seemed to he having a bird theme with cages and birdhouses.

sometimes lots of birdhouses

 and a nest

 pretty colors and stuff

Santa was in the corner window

Macy's was downright boring to me.

They have this tagline, "Believe," which sounds a bit magical. but their windows had no magic.  One corner window contained a scene with toy trains.  The trains were supposed to run when people touched their hands to the window in certain parts.  The trains did not work when I was there.  Just sat there looking like a good, but not amazing train set-up. 

I wonder if this has something to do with retailers worrying that creative and extravagant windows took away from the usual job of windows to feature actual merchandise.  Maybe they just needed that space to show off clothes, though I saw people in Chicago who obviously made a special trip with their families to see the windows.  Certainly that must have been good for business.  Maybe Seattle just never had this tradition for some reason?

I guess I will not know until someone tells me or I am in another city in December.

Barney's had some interesting things going on.

Not sure what these fishy sculptures were all about, but at least they were interesting.

Then they had children create art depicting Lady Gaga.  Well that is something, but hardly the cutting edge stuff the store was known for.


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