By Faith Hope Consolo

The best present of all is the December opening of Dior 57th Street—with the Lady Dior bag façade removed we witness holiday style at its finest. More joy to the world and another grand gift for the shopper extraordinaire comes from Lord & Taylor, 424 Fifth Avenue. The classic department store has reinvented its legend with a grand re-introduction of state-of-the-art Beauty, modernized Men’s, haute Home featuring Calvin Klein and Ralph Lauren, an opulent Wedding department, and the new home of the “little black dress.” Third and most lavish, the Ralph Lauren Mansions’ two historic buildings reveal the ultimate expression of luxury and service. Find a building dedicated to men’s brands at 867 Madison while Ralph’s eternal chic for women and the home can be found at 888 Madison. But they’re not alone.

Take a Tour of Our Twinkling Town and Increase Your Passion for Fashion:

On Madison Avenue, couture house Chocheng, of Hong Kong lineage, is taking 838 Madison Avenue. Joie’s Southern California style can be found at its first U.S. store, at 1200 Madison. Tincati’s Italian menswear will soon be found at 63rd Street. ETON of Sweden just arrived at 625 Madison Avenue. Warren-Tricomi is opening a second salon at number 1117.

On Fifth Avenue, Dries Van Noten unveiled his new “shop in shop” at Bergdorf Goodman. Canadian phenomenon Joe Fresh brings its take on “cheap chic-fast fashion” to number 510. Designer Yeohlee Teng has debuted at 38th Street. Ivanka Trump’s latest jewelry boutique is opening soon, at 721 in Trump Tower (where else?). Forever 21’s pop-up shop is now thrilling visitors at the Takashimaya Building, 693 Fifth.

In Rockefeller Center, Jacques Torres’ fifth city outpost at 30 Rock is joining EShave’s new Barbershop concept.

On the Upper East Side Kiehl’s latest shop is coming to 841 Lexington Avenue. J. McLaughlin Men’s Americana design at 1008 Lexington Avenue will partner with J. McLaughlin Women’s at 1004 Lexington. T Anthony has re-emerged with a new luxe luggage concept at 445 Park Avenue. Reiss will open a shop-in-shop in Bloomie's. Sur La Table has bowed at 1320 Third Avenue.

On the Upper West Side, Brooklyn Industries takes Broadway by storm, literally, at 99th Street.

In Columbus Circle, Nordstrom will finally open their city flagship at 3 Columbus. Dylan’s Candy Bar also will enter the neighborhood on the avenue. Comptoir des Cotonniers continues its expansion at 182 Columbus Avenue, joining Rag & Bone.

In Midtown, Kate Spade has “popped up” in Bryant Park.

In Times Square, Disney joins the entertainment with its new unit at 1540 Broadway. Italian shirt purveyor Camicissima’s second store in the city is found at the Crowne Plaza at 1607 Broadway.

In SoHo, Nordstrom’s charitable concept store will be found at 350 West Broadway. Canadian brand Aritzia took 524 Broadway, formerly Banana Republic. Onassis’ dapper menswear comes from Tokyo to 71 Greene Street. Opening Ceremony has doubled its space at 33/35 Howard Street at Crosby. Realm Boutique (98 Greene Street) has a true grand opening with leading French designer Jitrois. Looking for Italian kitchen design? Look to Scavolini at 429 West Broadway. The Kardashian sisters have launched the East Coast outpost of Dash at 119 Spring. Under Armour’s chilly weather pop-up has opened at 134 Spring Street. British shoe brand Dr. Martens is comforting soles at 148 Spring St at Wooster St. Lola Star Pop-Up Boutique is here for a bit at 435 Broome St at Broadway. Converse shoe addicts now have their very own store at 560 Broadway. Diane Von Furstenberg is coming south to 135 Wooster Street. Staying put is Bathing Ape, which renewed and renovated 91 Greene Street. Miami-based Tui Lifestyle offers home furnishings and design at 136 Greene Street. London Ash Footwear International is stepping into 44 Mercer Street. Make Up For Ever’s in-shop boutique beautifies the Sephora at 555 Broadway. New Zealand’s Icebreaker opened its first NYC location at 102 Wooster Street.

In the West Village, French cosmetics brand NARS plans a Spring 2011 opening at 413 Bleecker Street, the former home of Leo Design. Comptoir des Cotonniers continues its expansion at 345 Bleecker Street. French shoe label Pierre Hardy boutique is now serving shoppers at 30 Jane Street. Don’t get used to the Tommy Hilfiger Bleecker Street Store—it’s shifting to the company’s new Tommy concept. Burberry comes downtown to 367 Bleecker Street (corner of Charles). LEO Design “vintage” has relocated to 543 Perry Street. British Monsoon Accessorize has taken L.T.J. Arthur’s digs at 329 Bleecker Street.

In Nolita, Chilean Three Monkeys Eyewear has debuted at 35 Spring Street. Cire Trudon, the oldest candlemaker in the world, has opened its first boutique outside of France at 54 Bond Street at Bowery. Polish designer Janice Huminska opened a store and studio at 248 Mott Street.

In Tribeca, Madrid’s Agatha Ruiz de la Prada relocated from SoHo to 466 Greenwich Street.

In Meatpacking, Chanel pitched its beach tent inside of Jeffrey New York 449 W 14th St. The Cruise 2011 collection will be available to purchase in a space decorated to look like St. Tropez.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. Forget the North Pole, New York City is Holiday Central! From the 57th Street snowflake to the just-lit Rockefeller Center Christmas tree, uptown to downtown, the city is bedecked for the holidays.

Of course, no holiday shopping trip is complete without a look at the department stores' (and other major retailers’) windows. This year shows some striking contrasts – from Macy’s evocation of a true 19th century holiday story to Bloomingdale’s high-tech wish for what truly matters in life. All are designed to entertain the young and young in spirit – and encourage shoppers to come inside and play Santa for their loved ones and themselves.

Macy’s windows tell the story of Virginia O’Hanlon, who wrote to the New York Sun in 1897, asking the newspaper to prove that Santa Claus was real. The result was a classic newspaper column we still read today. The animated laser-cut paper sets depict Virginia’s home, a skating rink and the newspaper office, as the story is told with speakers. Take the time and enjoy!

Want your little ballerina to have an extra dose of The Nutcracker this year? Take her to Henri Bendel, which has teamed with the New York City Ballet to reinterpret the ballet’s first act in its windows. Among the sights: a 6-foot-high nutcracker and a giant tree. (The ballet’s second act is depicted inside the store!)

Lord & Taylor tells classic tales from its shoppers – with displays illustrating holiday memories sent in by customers. From a tinsel-clad fire escape to Christmas cookie baking, to a family watching the classic cartoon “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” you’re bound to find a scene that evokes memories of one of your Christmases past.

Bergdorf Goodman indulges your inner traveler, with scenes showing exotic destinations reached by unusual transportation: Care for a ride on Pegasus the flying horse? How about a salute to the 1902 Georges Méliès film “A Flight to the Moon?” The windows are filled with nautical antiques for the sailors in the audience.

Van Cleef & Arpels uses the Metropolitan Opera as a theme, with sets including a hot-air balloon ship and clamshell holding its magnificent gems.

Barneys New York is for foodies. Teaming with Food Network, the store salutes celebrity chefs in its typically irreverent way. Look for models of Bobby Flay, Wolfgang Puck, Anthony Bourdain and Daniel Boulud, among others, engaging in a food fight in one window, while Paula Deen, Rachael Ray and Sandra Lee wear Snuggies in another. Revolutionaries including Julia Child and Jamie Oliver also appear. I’m hungry already!

Saks Fifth Avenue combines technology with unique apparel. A 3-D projection screen makes the entire building part of the show, with bubbles emerging from windows and snow resting on ledges. Elephants and bubble submarines come to life in the windows, which also feature designer dresses fitting the theme – one with starfish, another covered with glass bubbles.

Tiffany takes its theme from the fairy tale of the Blue Bird, in which a princess waits in a castle for her Prince Charming, who has been turned into a blue bird by a spell. He can only return to his human form by finding the perfect gift – a Tiffany diamond. The scenes are modern, yet elegant, and depict a dream world bedecked with dream merchandise.

Bloomingdale’s takes a much different spin, using 100 digital screens in its windows to create a mosaic. Scenes end with the store’s wishes for all: Hope, Peace, Merry, Happy and Joy. It’s a grand Christmas card for the high-tech generation!

On Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen…On Comet, Cupid, Donner and Blitzen! Oh...and don’t forget Rudolph with a big fat Harry Winston ruby nose!

Happy Holidays and Happy Shopping

Faith Hope Consolo
Chairman, Retail Leasing & Sales Division
Prudential Douglas Elliman

Tel: 212-418-2020 / Fax: 212-418-2005