It’s the most wonderful time of the year! A London Christmas is like no other. The capital is at its best during the festive season; Oxford and Regent Street have been decked with bright lights, while stores, hotels and bars get dressed in their festive finest.
Hotels and department stores take decoration very seriously. Creating a buzz around Christmas is vital and many establishments employ renowned artists and designers to art direct their designs. Others host lavish ‘switch-ons’ and host special Christmas-themed events. Here are our favourite festive designer displays this year:
The London Edition
This year sees the London Edition commission renowned paper artist and sculptor Zoe Bradley. The hotel’s tree is adorned with beautiful paper stars that burst open like snowflakes.
Hoi Polloi’s unique ‘tree’ is a towering stack of classic LED retail signs, imagined and assembled by Rottingdean Bazaar, aka James Theseus Buck and Luke Brook. The menswear duo follow in a long line of East London favourites, such as Matty Bovan, JW Anderson and Ed Marler.
St Pancras International
After last year’s dazzling Disney display, the main concourse of St. Pancras International takes a decidedly glam turn, with a little help from Tiffany & Co. The towering tree, at 43 feet, is surely London’s tallest indoors. It is decorated with 600 bottles of the Tiffany Eau de Parfum fragrance, along with paper flowers and brand coloured baubles. It’s scented, too.
The Connaught looked to British artist Sir Michael Craig-Martin for their famous outdoor display this year. After Tracey Emin’s glorious effort last year, Craig-Martin presents a tree full of 12,000 lights, subtly changing colour as viewers walk by.
Fashion’s grande dame Diane von Fürstenberg takes on the challenge of London’s most famous Christmas decorations this year. A long-time friend of Claridge’s, the designer has created a Winter Wonderland, with ‘The Tree of Love’ as its centrepiece. The sculptural tree is lit with ethereal blue lights and decorated with 600 hand-blown glass hearts.
Mayfair’s finest fish restaurant presents a Modernist’s take on Christmas decorations with a little help from British fashion designer Christopher Kane. The designer has adorned the outside of the venue with rows of vibrant strip lights that descend like icicles, in the designer’s signature colours.
Annabel’s, playground of the rich and famous, makes its mark on Mayfair this Christmas season. Its façade has been transformed into an enormous Christmas tree, complete with traditional red and gold presents and decorations.
Master food artists Bompas & Parr take on Aqua Shard’s decorations this year in London’s architectural icon, using said icon as inspiration. The glass pyramid, which also resembles a Christmas tree, is illuminated with ice white lights and wrapped in frosted branches. Inside, the installation features a snow storm, where guests can grab golden snowflakes to exchange for free cocktails.
Turner Prize nominated artist Monster Chetwynd transforms Tate Britain’s façade into an ethereal Winter wonderland complete with two giant slugs. The pair have slithered their way around the main building, leaving trails of light in their wake.
The Ivy, Granary Square
Womenswear designer Sadie Clayton is renowned for her sculptural fashion pieces made from copper. She lends her unique style to The Ivy in Granary Square for Christmas, producing a wonderful copper Christmas tree that illuminates the exterior of the restaurant.