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Shop Front: Xmas Windows at Selfridges


Situated in the heart of London, Selfridges has been part of the Christmas shopping hype since 1909. Ever since, the high street giant managed to create a magical atmosphere in its flagship store on London’s high street by decorating its front windows with opulent, thematic designs that combine a mix of costume and current fashion.

This Christmas, the creative team unveiled a fairytale topiary-based Christmas approach on Oxford Street. Dominated by gold, the windows show a fairytale world, roping the 120.000 daily viewers into an old, long forgotten universe.

The gold mesh animals in the front windows are bespoke and hand sculpted while iconic designers Cole and Son exclusively created the flocked wallpaper that can be seen in all the windows. The Baroque decoration with the big white wigs and corset dresses is clearly based on the films Marie Antoinette and Peter Greenaway’s – Draughtman Contract. Inspiration mainly came from teenage writer Maggie Prince’s novel about a Highwayman. Each of the 20 front windows represents a paragraph of the story, which runs as follows:

Once upon a time, in a magic land, the king and the queen decided to throw a big masquerade party for Christmas to make everybody happy. One person, however, Roaring Jack Jody, known as the highwayman, was very upset about this idea because he thought nobody would ever give him any presents. He decided to loot the palace and steal the golden treasures of the royals. On the run from Santa’s reindeers and the royal guards, he dropped handfuls of golden goods as he was carrying too many things. Soon everybody is looking for him.


Along his way, he runs across most fairytale figures. He saved Hansel und Gretel from the wicked witch, of course unintentionally and by dropping wonderful gold shoes, he made Cinderella’s grudging stepsisters change their mind and turned them into neat princesses again. By the magic of Christmas his fierce horse was changed into a beautiful, gentle unicorn.


Finally, Roaring Jack met two gorgeous princesses along his way that told him about a place in the Magic Land full of gifts. They offered him to buy presents for him in this shop. He gave in and came to the conclusion that shopping was better than robbery.

And shouldn’t everybody be this wise by now?


Window 20 features Gucci’s Autumn/Winter 07 catwalk creations. Sponsored by the Italian label, the Selfridges team converted the ball at the palace in a room with a gold piano.

The gold theme runs throughout the set. Designers from all over the world created gold pieces exclusively for Selfridges. Simultaneously to the Christmas windows, the store runs the gold promotion – never-been-seen-before pieces from fashion, beauty, home and food. The collection celebrates famed fashion moments and includes items such as a revamped gold version of Yves Saint Laurent’s Muse bag or Phillip Treacy’s classic trilby. All wrapped in a golden hue, of course.

The award-winning 3D team with Creative Director, Alannah Weston creates 8 displays a year, the 2006 Christmas visual displays are prepared for the 9th November. The planning process started back in January with initial concept displays discussed in March and the actual decoration agreed in July.

The much anticipated festive window displays at Selfridges, Oxford Street were unveiled last month. But Alannah Weston is already working on next year’s creations. What will she come up with next? We’ll just have to wait and see.

By Christa Catharina Muller

Thanks to Selfridges PR department for images and additional information


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