Les Fenêtres de Printemps
One thing the spectacular Parisian department stores do spectacularly well are its Christmas windows. They are so popular that the crowds in front of them extend from window to curb.
Which means it takes a great deal of patience to see them properly. After rather a lot of waiting and a little bit of clever maneuvering, I was able to get in close enough to take these photos of the Printemps department store windows on Boulevard Haussmann during the 2010 Christmas season.
Often the Parisian department store windows have holiday themes related to Broadway musicals or animated films. (Yes, Disney has taken hold of Paris, too. I hear the windows of Galeries Lafayette are filled with, um, monsters this year.)
But these Printemps windows, not so much. I liked them especially because they were so quintessentially French. Created in collaboration with the Lanvin fashion house, the theme was Noël au Château (Christmas at the castle). Each window represented a different room in the château, lavishly decorated in that way the French do best and transporting me back to another century.
Which century? Why, the eighteenth, of course. When fashion was at its most opulent and France’s Ancien Régime was in its dying days.
Un noël XVIIIe siècle. Now there’s a theme I can get into.