With the holiday season upon us, I thought it would be fun to once again see how Macy’s makes their world-famous window displays. CNN Money goes inside the workshop this year to see how a team of artists and craftspeople make these complicated and beautiful environments.
Dug North has started a series on working with brass, and in the first installment, he shows several ways to cut brass. Whether it’s brass rod, tube or sheets, he knows the tools to use.
This is pretty great: the “Women in Leadership” column at the Guardian has highlighted Hayley Gibbs, a prop maker in the UK. It’s heartening to see a news outlet acknowledge that people who work with their hands and make things can be leaders too.
Here’s a quick little tip for making windows look broken without removing or destroying the glass.
This is quite the extensive interview with Puppet Kitchen’s Michael Schupbach.
Back when I lived in New York City, I spent a couple seasons working at Spaeth Designs, building props for the holiday window displays at stores like Macy’s and Saks Fifth Avenue. They’ve produced a few videos this year showing some of the behind-the-scenes work that goes into these mini-productions. These windows are quite intense, with designers and department heads beginning work in February, and dozens of skilled craftspeople starting as early as July to get these ready by Thanksgiving.
First up is Saks Fifth Avenue, which went with a “Yeti” theme:
Next up is Lord and Taylor, who do variations on a Victorian Christmas every year:
New York City retail stores are known for the grand and highly imaginative window displays they unveil every Christmas season. I spent my first two autumns in New York City working on some of them. I did not work on them this year, though some colleagues of mine did. One of my former coworkers shot the following videos. You can find more videos searching on YouTube, but what makes these great is that they start off in the workshop showing the constructing phase, and moves to the inside of the windows showing the assembly before showing the final result.
First up is perhaps the lynchpin of NYC Christmas windows: Macy’s.
Macy’s is certainly the most well-known of the annual Christmas windows in New York City, but Saks Fifth Avenue does a good show as well.
Finally, we have the Lord & Taylor windows.
This is very cool; Bergdorf-Goodman has made a making-of video for their 2010 holiday windows in New York City. It’s almost like a time-lapse. The style of the windows is eye-catching too, with a lot of vintage and steampunk elements. Watch the video below, and have a happy New Year! See you in 2011.