Friday, December 21, 2012

A Big Apple Christmas Break

Mr. Gingerbread and I got away to enjoy a little Christmas spirit in the Big Apple last weekend.

While there, we saw the beautiful Christmas windows, of course,

waved at the NYFD who were all decked out and caught up in the excitement of Christmas coming soon,

and visited some exceptional shops that were iced and decorated in 
Christmas cookie colors. We stopped in at Mackenzie Childs,

ABC Carpet and Home, 

and Tinsel Trading Company to name a few.

We enjoyed strolling through the Christmas market at Union Square,

which is the closest I got to a real German Christmas market this year.

It was the weekend of Santacon, where the annual bar hopping Santa Clauses prowl the town

looking for fun, drinks, and a portion of the proceeds go to Toys for Tots. About 30,000 Santas, elves and Mrs. Claus's were expected to participate. The city was a sea of red everywhere we went that day.

We made sure to take a moment to take in the view of Bryant Park where the skaters were enjoying the sunny, cold weather.

We caught two plays that weekend, The Heiress, with Dan Stevens of Downton Abbey fame, and then A Christmas Story. Both were excellent,

and if you need a last minute gift idea. I happen to know where you can buy a very attractive leg lamp from the show!

Finally, one of my favorite stops was the station for letter writing to Santa at Macy's on Herald Square. Just under the Believe meter, children were writing their requests to Santa in eager anticipation, and then dropping them in the mail box, where for every letter written to Ol' St. Nick, the Believe meter inches up and up.

So to all my readers, whom I consider friends, I take pause at this time to wish you and your families a joy-filled Christmas and a blessed new year.


Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Once Upon A Dream

This Christmas season, Harrod's decided to decorate its store windows with interpretations of the Disney Princesses as envisioned by some of the world's leading designers, and I think they've come up with a big hit. Photographing store windows is always challenging, but here are my attempts to share the beauty of their holiday season.

First up is Tiana whose mint green dress

was designed by Ralph and Russo.

Snow White's gown was the vision of Oscar de la Renta, 

and the Wicked Queen challenged everyone to decide who was the fairest of  them all.

That would be a hard call, since the princesses were amazingly dressed. Mulan, in her gown by Missoni, was especially striking,

and Pocahontas's gown by Roberto Cavelli was truly one of a kind.

Ariel left her mermaid tail behind  and was sporting a stunning gown

by Marchesa.

Escada reinterpreted Jasmine's gown

as she was lifted away on her magic carpet,

and Belle's ballgown was designed by no other than Valentino.

Even the backdrops surrounding each princess were glamorous.

Rapunzel's dress was styled by Jenny Packham, who is a favorite of the princess we all adore these days--Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge.

My favorite gown of all was designed for Sleeping Beauty by Elie Saab.

Cinderella's exquisite dress and slipper were styled by Versace,

and her coach and horses were ready at a moment's notice to carry her away.

Inside the store, Harrod's opened a 7000 foot square Disney princess pop-up boutique,

complete with a tea room and shopping for your very own little princess.

The shoe salon was a big hit,

where you could choose from two styles of magical slippers.

My choice of slippers was not to be found in the Disney shop but under the glass dome, where

an absolutely exquisite slipper designed by Christian Louboutin was featured.

Wonder if the shoe would fit, if just the right prince came along?

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Keep Calm--It's Christmas Time in the City

We're back in Houston now for the holiday stretch, but before leaving London, I immersed myself into as much Christmas spirit as I could. It's always so festive in the city, even earlier than the States because there's no pause button for Thanksgiving to push. The stores are full of ornaments for the picking,

and the shelves are full of Christmas magazines. Am I the only one who could just spend oodles of pounds and dollars on all the festive publications this time of the year?

Make sure you have your London themed stockings,

and your royal crackers,

and don't get caught waiting too late to mail your letters to Santa!

The selection of sweets this time of the year are ever so tempting,

and almost too pretty to eat!

I debated about this gingerbread Tower Bridge

and Big Ben, before deciding they might not survive the air trip home.

We wandered Regent and Oxford Street for a little color and lights,

and found ourselves a wee bit perplexed about the Oxford Street sponsors this year--

Marmite--You Either Love It or Hate It.

Where do you stand on that question?

Always a favorite, we loved the sparkly windows of Selfridge's

and as a special touch, a Gingerbread Selfridge's complete with the Queen's Corgis.

Coming up soon, Harrod's interpretation of Christmas.