It’s been a year like no other and it looks set to be a festive season like no other, but one thing is for sure: Christmas is not cancelled.
And today, as shops throw their doors open once more, it’s not just what’s on the inside that counts, but the outside too. In true festive-style, this year the capital’s Christmas displays in the windows of its iconic stores are lighting the way. Quite literally.
On New Bond Street, Dior’s flagship store has been adorned with fully-recyclable twinkling lights, while its interior has been complemented with a hand-painted metallic tree covered in glittering birds and butterflies, which is intended to serve as a tribute to southern Italy, the home of the brand’s creative director Maria Grazia Chiuri.
In fact, the storied French fashion house has illuminated 35 of its stores around the world in the same way, with its European stores requiring a whopping 196, 507 light bulbs which took a collective 13, 056 hours to install (that’s the equivalent of 544 days, for reference.)
Selfridges meanwhile has themed its festive window displays in its London, Manchester and Birmingham stores "Once Upon A Christmas", and has claimed that this year’s efforts are its greenest ever (in line with the store’s sustainability efforts as part of its Project Earth initiative.)
“Once Upon A Christmas”, which was conceived after the store’s own research found that 8 out of 10 Brits are wishing for a normal Christmas this year, is designed to tell the story of old traditions meeting new ideas. The display was unveiled by a 16 Arlington-designed sequin-clad Santa, while its windows have been built using recycled, upcycled, and recyclable materials wherever possible.
“Through ‘Once Upon A Christmas’ we hope to celebrate the traditions of Christmas in non-traditional ways, reimagined for the challenges of today," says Selfridges’ Executive Stores Director Maeve Wall. "We are here to help our customers make the festive season special, however, they might be celebrating and in readiness for a Christmas like no other."
Knightsbridge stalwart Harvey Nichols has succinctly expressed the same sentiments towards 2020 that we have with a twinkling display of lights that read “BRING ON 2021." There’s also a sparkling Scrooge-tastic “BAH HUMBUG” illumination, which is enhanced by star motifs.
"2020 has been a year unlike any other," explains Janet Wardley, Harvey Nichols’ Head of Visual Display. “We’ve come up with a concept that looks forward to the New Year, whilst also reflecting the sentiment that many of us are feeling at present.”
Over on Great Marlborough Street, Liberty’s pared-back displays this year were inspired by the belief that “this Christmas needed to evoke emotion, strength, and happiness,” according to the store’s Visual Concept Manager Lisa Clemenger.
Its in-store and window display, which this year is themed ‘Peace, Love and Liberty’, features a more muted but no less impactful showcase of wholesome hand-painted scarves and vignettes, which were made by the Liberty Design Team.
For more fabulous festive displays, scroll through the gallery above.