American department stores aren’t what they used to be, obviously, and neither are their holiday heirlooms. This reality was on full view last Monday, when the windows at Saks Fifth Avenue’s flagship location in Midtown were lit up with Dior-decorated vignettes. Saks C.E.O. Marc Metrick, Dior C.E.O. Delphine Arnault, and brand ambassador Jennifer Lawrence were all there to celebrate the occasion.
The displays, glowing purple and glittering gold with garments and accessories from the Lady Dior collection inserted into dioramas of classic New York scenes, were literal window dressing—a traditional pay-to-play tactic that was viewed cynically by chiseled industry insiders but was nevertheless mostly lost on the ear-muffed crowd. During some prepared remarks, Lawrence’s belt unexpectedly busted in the ultimate celebrities are just like us moment. The made-for-Us Weekly surprise didn’t simply offer some light-hearted holiday mirth. It was also a nice little distraction from a swirl of negative press that preceded the proceedings.