You know the holidays are really approaching when the big department stores start pulling out all the stops. “It takes an army of people almost a year to work on the decorations we put together,” Mark Briggs, the lead creative for Saks Fifth Avenue’s designs, told the Cut, and this year, the store is going an icier route than its usual warm displays. “We’re really proud to announce Saks’s theme this year is the Winter Palace on Fifth,” he said — a transformation that involves decorations like arches made of magnolias and spires towering over 20 feet tall. The windows haven’t been forgotten, either: They’ll showcase winter wonders of the world, like a frozen Eiffel Tower and even the Great Barrier Reef.
Stretching a whole block, the façade will also play host to plenty of lights: 225,000, to be precise, as well as 225,200 crystals. “We’re sort of walking away from what we’ve done before with the projections,” Briggs explained. Instead, there will be a theatrical light show that’s taken over 10,000 hours to produce. It’ll all be illuminated at the flagship’s unveiling on the 23rd, where — as if it couldn’t get any more decadent — a 200-person chorus will also be heralding in the holidays. In case you’re not around New York, you can stream the event online — or head to any Saks across the country, since even the Palm Beach location will be getting into the winter spirit.