5 Top Christmas Windows – London 2017
“Sitting in a lecture, I’d heard that Salvador Dali had designed windows. So had Andy Warhol. Now I understood why. These windows were art, drama, a fantasy landscape where anything could be played out, a performance. They were a stage, and through them the audience of passers-by were transported just as they were when they watched a play. My love of drama had found a new outlet.” Mary Portas – Shop Girl
Window displays involve a whole lot more than presenting the latest merchandise, and with Christmas windows in particular the game is on to combine festive spirit with creative story-telling and eye-catching drama. Months, sometimes up to a year in planning, London’s department stores take their windows very seriously and branded outlets have followed suit.
Here we take a look at 5 Top Christmas Windows as seen in London this festive season:
- Harrods & the Collaborative Tie-In
For 2017 Harrods has collaborated with Italian mega brand Dolce & Gabbana to bring a touch of Italian life to Knightsbridge. The forth floor features the #DGHarrods Italian Market styled on an Italian piazza, and the theme is continued into the main store windows. Transformed into bespectacled whimsical puppets the D&G design duo appear in a variety of scenes from a tailor’s studio to a hair and beauty parlour, a watchmaker’s to a perfumery. Each display is brimming with Dolce & Gabbana fashion and products, while the puppets animate and add plenty of fun to each scene.
- Selfridges On Parade
Always inspirational the Selfridges visual merchandising team have gone for a festive parade that celebrates the history, diversity and the many characters that combine to make London the city it is today. From pearly Kings and Queens Santa style to cockney rhyming slang ‘Sprouts or Nowt’ there are plenty of quips on show along with oversized Christmas crackers, balloons and Christmas puddings – the party starts here. It took a team of over 100 people just over a week to prepare the London Selfridges windows and 5,000 Brussels sprouts to decorate the fruit ‘n’ veg market inspired float.
- John Lewis and the Lovable Christmas Character
While M&S have tied-in their Christmas ad campaign with Paddington Bear this year John Lewis have worked in Moz the Monster, a large and rather loveable beast. Moz features in a series of humorous Oxford Street window scenes depicting various rooms in a festive house. Viewers are invited to tickle Moz’s feet courtesy of an interactive touch pad, listen to his snoring as well as his farts as he takes a bubbly bath. A surefire winner with the children.
- Harvey Nichols Takes Cue from the Catwalk
Mannequins positioned like editorial models in a glossy magazine Harvey Nichols cited the recent catwalk collections as their point of reference for their Christmas windows. Bold lighting, graphic star cut-outs, a strong use of colour, mirror balls and oversized baubles are interspersed with posing mannequins in high-shine designer outfits. Janet Wardley, Head of Visual Display stated that: “Themes of joy and positivity ran through the AW17 and SS18 shows, evoking a determination not to dwell on the uncertain times of the current climate. This inspired us to create a high energy scheme that uses dazzling colours, lights and shapes to entertain our customers – some of the vinyls are so bright that the team had to wear sunglasses during the install!”
- Tory Burch and the Traditional Gingerbread House
While large department stores have advertising and marketing teams on their side it is always good to see what other designer brands have come up with. Simple and effective, Tory Burch have created large trompe l’oeil gingerbread house backdrops complete with frosting in their signature Cosmic Floral print. The neutral colour of the backdrop ensures that the Tory Burch clothing and accessories stand out and draw in the eye.
Top Tips for Winning Windows:
- Have a theme or tell a story
- Surprise your audience – don’t be too obvious
- Think visually – think about the space from top to bottom and make sure key items are situated at eye level
- Be bold in terms of colour schemes and shapes. Try to stick to 2 or three key colours
- Use lighting effectively, change colours or strengths depending on your story.
- Keep customers interested – aim to change your window at least every two months or more
- Keep it simple – try not to overload, let the products speak for themselves