“Whole families of fantastic characters have left their homes in the Land of Make-Believe to skip and dance over the walls of usually staid department stores,” marveled the Paris edition of The New York Herald Tribune in December 1924. “Stupid fashion displays that nobody but mother and great-aunt ever cared about anyway have been conveniently pushed out of the show windows to make way for remarkable toy cities, life-like stuffed dogs that do everything but bite, and dolls that throw kisses as they promenade.”
Il Neige (snow) Rive Gauche, Noël 2016
This brief photo series showcases snowflakes rollicking to life as they cavort, dance, play and recreate in the windows of the Bon Marché. Le Bon Marché, on the Rue de Sèvres, claims not only to be Europe’s oldest department store, but also one of the first to recognize the power of an inventive window dressing to seduce shoppers — even when its goods were not overtly on display. In 1893, the store’s first Christmas-themed window depicted a simple scene of ice skaters gliding on a frozen pond in the Bois de Boulogne. Above, children mount the scene provided to have a better lookout to enjoy the musical displays of performing ‘flakes’. Spectators wait as the ‘Flocons Ensemble ‘ the (Flakes Together) begin to dance merrily and obliviously out of time and order with each other as they offer a continuous lyrical resounding ” à gauche – à droite” (to the left – to the right).
Some flakes do not know which way to go!
It is not the hour for everyone to enjoy the flakes frolicking and flying ’round in this display!
The dancing, while unruly, is enchanting, poetic and magical when one allows a moment to experience it!
Midday, hustle exists even while creative surprises, humor and stylistic viewpoints compel attention.
Flakes surprise! As the figures pop up rhythmically and expressively to greet and entertain spectators, the windows offer a visionary spirit, a playful, fanciful opportunity as inspiration for emotion.
Flakes suggest that one might even think of presenting a practical gift.
While the more adventurous flakes skate the rooftops, photographing the ‘extreme’!
The neige (snow) continues inside to extend the fancy-free ambiance while making shopping decisions.
Snow falls on a portrait wagon!
Hats always are favored winter-wear.
The snow sparkles over the varieties of proposed holiday merchandise.
While adventurers continue to amuse shoppers.
The French have a long tradition and highly evolved skills in the art of making perfumes. The great names in fashion have assisted in exporting some of the most important names in perfume throughout the world. For some, Christmas holiday giving is tantamount to offering perfume.
So choose your hats and head for the holiday snow! It is always OK to be enchanted at the Christmas holiday season, no matter what or how one celebrates or does not celebrate. May the emotions of joy, love and appreciation touch your heart in some way as the year ends and begins again! Happy and sparkly winter’s delights to all – simply share a smile and feel it!