It Happens Every Spring

A tour of Macy's Flower Show
Posted April 16, 2013

It happens every spring. No, I'm not referring to bats and balls and the beginning of the baseball season, or even the swallows returning to wherever it is they return to. I'm talking about the Macy's Flower Show. Almost ritualistic, it warms our bodies and even our souls after each and every cold winter. And not only does Macy's transition us from one season to the next, but they also take us to another part of the world; a celebration of other cultures communicated through the language of flowers.

In this year's journey from winter to spring, the iconic retailer took us to the colorful world of India. Titled “The Painted Garden,” it was a play of oversized painted flowers and groupings of three-dimensional live flora. The show, featured in Macy's six signature Broadway windows and thematically supported in the 34th Street windows, was also installed in the company's State Street store in Chicago.

According to Paul Olszewski, director of windows and flagship interior marketing, "We supported the painterly theme in all of the windows. One of the windows featured a flowered peacock whose tail feathers were highlighted by small artist's palettes with colorful splashes of color. To complete the look, the tail was interwoven with live palm fronds."

Next was a window sporting a huge flower burst with a painted center and real flowers on the outer rim. Framing this technicolor burst were real branches painted a complementary red. Another window took an expressionist approach with a Monet-like painted background and live vegetation in front. This mix of paint on canvas and real, three-dimensional flowers brought the tranquil to life.

Turning the corner and continuing on 34th Street, the side windows mixed merchandise with the Painted Garden theme. Here, Olszewski and his team used window decals evocative of henna tattoos, and Indian-inspired star lanterns to continue the story.

So through the magic of flowers, with a painterly approach, Macy's has transported us to another season, another part of the world, and another state of mind.