People in Glass Houses

Holiday Windows in a Sad Season

Deer Mr. Mayor: Rudy in the window at Barneys
Photograph by Taylor Pope
Deer Mr. Mayor: Rudy in the window at Barneys

This whole crew would be a lot more comfortable over on Madison Avenue and 60th Street, where Barneys has blended its trademark louche approach to the holidays with a newfound earnestness. The theme is Yuletide Yard Sale, and the store is promising to auction off items in the windows (a collection of sad leftoversÑold clocks, a green porcelain owlÑthat looks like it was bought at closing time at the 26th Street flea market) after Christmas for the Twin Towers Fund. (There's no indication that the humongous fellow in the red suit presiding over Santa's Groovy Grotto will be for sale, but surely he's too big for your little apartment anyway.) In one much discussed display, Barneys honors a fellow who until recently was about as popular as that Pepsi girl: He's Rudolph the Right-On Reindeer, and he has plaques dangling from his antlers that read, "We have never been braver, we have never been stronger." Another installation, "Reindeer ˆ la mode," features highly stylized Donner and Blitzen look-alikes standing on two feet and wearing outfits also destined for the Yuletide Yard Sale. Those wanting something festive for the new year can choose among a pink satin clown suit by Victor and Rolf, a swinging '60s Paco Rabanne mini-dress made of interconnected red disks, and even a frock that manages to invoke the Son of God: It's a red-and-green deconstructed vintage dress, and it's by a design team that calls itself Imitation of Christ.

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