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Having Fun Window Dressing

Christmas is the biggest time of year for retailers, not just for sales but for their display windows as well. The Early Show's Barbwire Contributor Barbara Alvarez went behind the scenes at one of New York's premier department stores to see how it's done.

New York is considered the capital of Christmas display windows. The competition to come up with the most extravagant display is fierce.

"You want your windows to be memorable," says Linda Fargo, director of the visual department at Bergdorf Goodman.

Fargo and her right-hand man, David Hoey, spend months collecting ideas. I caught up with them at one of their planning meetings. "This is just a tear sheet wall of fragments of ideas," she says, pointing to their work in progress. "This window here is going to be a time machine window. We have a 12-foot rocket which we found at an antique show.".

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It takes hundreds of hours of planning and work to make these windows happen.

From the smallest details, to the mannequins, to the life-size scenery, with so much at stake, the Bergdorf Goodman crew has many sleepless nights.

" It's a little bit like opening night kind of pressure," explains Hoey.

I offered to help out. Our first stop was the prop shop, where we searched for objects for our scenes. "We were thinking of violins and mandolinsÂ…we're trying to create still lives from the 1700s," says Fargo as we go about our search.

Next stop: the design shop.

"They start out looking like a big pile of industrial supplies and when we finish with it, it will end up looking like a fantasy," says Hoey. It took about a week to put it all together. Making the magic isn't always as easy as it seems.

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