Christmas earned the title of The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year for a number of reasons. Sure, there are the presents. Then there’s the food and the carolling and the quality time with the family. But above all this, for interior design buffs anyway, is the decoration. Christmas gives you an opportunity to completely indulge your inner designer, and no one takes this opportunity more so than high street retailers.
Big-name brands spend the entire year planning their festive displays, treating them with the gravity of theatre productions. To give you some decoration inspiration of your own, we take a look at some of the best Christmas window displays of all time.
Boucheron X Printemps at Printemps, Paris 2018
Printemps actually translates into English as “spring”, but that doesn’t stop the Parisian department store from pulling out all the stops in the winter. (Its seasonal hashtag, “#NoelauPrintemps”, translates to the cheeky “#ChristmasInSpring”.) This year, the shop’s ten-window display sees characters Violette and Jules search for Santa Claus across a number of different environments, including a world of mushrooms, a desert, the ocean, and of course the Antarctic. Masterful puppetry brings the figures to life—from our two intrepid Santa-searchers to giant insects, anthropomorphic dogs, a glowing jellyfish, and some butter-churning cows.
A partnership with the brand Boucheron, Printemps’ 2018 display is bursting with creativity and exceeds the store’s already high standards. The craftsmanship demonstrated here is incredible, making for a window display as magical and the season itself.
Image source: sortiraparis.com
See the display here.
Murdock’s Gentlemen’s Christmas Lodge, London 2014
Traditional barbers and men’s grooming products retailer Murdock started from scratch for their 2014 Christmas display. The brand commissioned design agency FormRoom to create a pop-up store for the festive period that would be fully decorated, inside and out. The designers opted for a subtle Christmas vibe, drawing on remote Scottish hunting lodges.
A log-heavy storefront window guided patrons into the cosy interior adorned with wooden fixtures and lit with a warm, wintry glow. Customers could shop for Christmas presents or get their hair cut and styled, all within a store environment that itself appeared like a window display.
The lesson here is to make sure your decoration is more than just skin-deep. Subtly tweak your entire home’s decor over the Christmas period to create a festive mood from door to door.
Image source: formroom.com
See the display and read more here.
Harrods Disney Princess Windows, London 2012
As with Printemps in Paris, the annual unveiling of Harrods’ Chrismas window display is a seismic event. The iconic department store always delivers, with big budget windows that maintain the style and grace shoppers have come to expect from Harrods.
In 2012, the store combined Christmas magic with Disney magic, enlisting ten major designers to each create one couture dress for a princess from one of Disney’s animated classics. The results were spectacular, elegant, and even haunting at times. Roberto Cavalli’s Pocahontas stood in the shadows, while Marchesa’s Ariel was drenched in blue light. Perhaps most magical of all was Escada’s Jasmine, who appeared to float on a magic carpet in a flowing red dress.
This, along with Harrods’ earlier Wizard of Oz display prove that theming Christmas decorations around iconic movies can bring another element of wonder.
Image source: vogue.co.uk
See the display here.
‘Once Upon A Christmas’ at Fenwick’s, Newcastle 2015
Fenwick’s Christmas window displays have become an integral part of yuletide celebrations in the North East. Every year since 1971, the department store has drawn on inspiration from Paris to create puppet-driven, animated Christmas windows, accompanied by their own soundtracks, that entertain children and parents alike.
Though the store often features adaptations of famous stories like Alice in Wonderland, or even classic children’s television program Camberwick Green, in 2015 they went back to basics with a display starring two excited children, some Christmas elves, a clumsy Santa, and Fenwick’s store itself. The narrative, which sees Santa rescued after crashing into Fenwick’s, is whimsical and clever, proving that Christmas decorations can be an effective storytelling tool.
Image source: northernsoul.me.uk
See the display here.