We’re constantly being told that it’s all going digital – everyone shops online, stays inside / at their desk and has a phone clutched in their hands. That doesn’t quite stop us from trudging around Oxford Street with the masses looking at the lights and window displays though (we may not do any shopping, but we’re all eyes and ears). Time and time again retailers across the globe go all out with their Christmas windows. They commission set designers, illustrators, or have full time in-house visual design teams. Everyone always goes mad for Christmas adverts; we’re going mad for Christmas windows.
The main windows on Oxford Street were filled with Father Christmases by October. October! But if you pop round the corner to Orchard Street (opposite M&S) you’ll see some less garish displays by the rather talented paper artist Hattie Newman. Her and a team of fellow paper artists created London in paper format and it looks frostily festive.
Fortnum and Mason
Working with consultancy Otherway and illustrator Chervelle Fryer, the Fortnum and Mason team created the ‘Together We’re Merrier’ theme. Originally produced as an illustration by Fryer, the print version is used in store and includes Mr Fortnum and Mr Mason. The windows are filled with creatures of all shapes and sizes as they celebrate with Fortnum’s hampers and pop open bottles of champagne.
Big shots Liberty have seven graphic designers in-house who do everything from window displays, in-store environments, invites and the store magazine – working across 15 projects at any one time. We suspect their schedules get cleared for the Christmas windows though. 2017 is The Night Before Christmas and the windows are filled with rooftops flooded with moonlight, and detailed with luxurious Liberty produce. We’re not going to lie, we think we prefer the Loewe pop-up windows though – William Morris meets punk!
Another department store to understandably have an in-house team working their window magic is Harvey Nichols. This year the windows were inspired by the latest from the AW17 and SS18 fashion shows. The bright, vibrant colours depict joy and positivity – a strong determination not to dwell on the uncertain times ahead. This cheery political comment includes mirror balls, vinyl stars, metallic foil, sequin and holographic backgrounds. Who knew politics could be so jazzy.
It’s rumoured that the Dolce and Gabbana team spent £7m on the Christmas windows for Harrods! They’ve got the D&G Italian market inside, so it makes sense to bring it to the attention of the public passing by, they’ve made quite the advertising investment after all. Each window sets a different scene with puppet versions of Dolce and Gabbana getting in on the action.
We’ve deliberately ignoring the farting Moz the Monster John Lewis windows. On a more impressive note, we love the upside down Christmas tree in Claridges designed by Karl Lagerfeld.