Christmas window displays lifestyle
Who doesn’t remember Audrey Hepburn, black suit, high bun, black glasses, pearls and… the window display in that iconic Tiffany Blue?
A window display has a lot to do with the world of the senses: the message it conveys is a desire so subtle and magical that, with few (or many) elements, it creates the wonderful story we want to tell.
A window display has its rules. It is a miniature statement of principles, a peephole through which you can look and appreciate the philosophy of a brand at a glance. Through your eyes and desire, feel the need to possess what you are seeing, to enter that shop and buy everything.
They say that after the Second World War, people put on their best clothes simply to go and look at the windows of fashion shops. It was a good way to see beautiful things, unattainable at that time. Not everything has changed. Christmas is still a season of exhibition in these beautiful ephemeral decorations.
The starting pistol is fired at the end of November, when the centre of Paris, New York or Tokyo is illuminated in such a way that, if we could see it from the cosmos, the Earth would be a small blue ball full of little lights.
These days, all shops take out their secret weapons, they get dressed up and present their displays as a window for the viewer with a coded language. Coded because there is a whole philosophy behind the displays; nothing is accidental in this art, everything corresponds to some techniques that have much to do with psychology and with the present time. Gian Piero Lo Curto, a window display artist for Loewe, Armani, Calvin Klein and Versace, once said that: “a window display is a dream. Making people enter the store because they have been trapped and fascinated by the first impression has a lot to do with the world of the senses and the mind. The message that awakens the desire must be subliminal and its magic is directly related to the perfect harmony of light, measurements, materials and the story you want to tell”.
Increasingly, well-known artists are involved in creating the world’s most famous “windows”. This has been done by Peter Marino for Louis Vuitton and Chanel, the graffiti artist Kongo for Hermés in Barcelona, Lagerfield did it for Chanel and Murakami did it for Louis Vuitton. Very special is the work of the famous designer Leila Menchari, who passed away recently, for her Maison Hermés where she told the most fantastic stories in her shop windows.
We propose a special plan for this time of year. It is better at night, when the city lights up and the shops have shut for the evening. Then all that remains is the magic trapped in the shop windows. Why not imagine a journey like the one Alice took chasing the rabbit and, like her, walk under flying carpets, join a rock band on tour, discover worlds of ice, delve into the depths of the ocean, travel with a circus following the elephants or find our hearts among chariots and pumpkins?
Lifestyle invites you to travel around the world’s brands in their Christmas windows.
1: Cartier (Lisbon and Madrid)
A panther prowls stealthily and claims the red façade of the Cartier building on Avenida de Liberdade to protect the world of jewellery, while on the corner of Ortega y Gasset and Serrano in Madrid, the store is wrapped up like a gift with a huge red bow.
2: Fao Schwarz (Nueva York)
It is one of the best toy stores in the world and a dream-come-true for any child who passes through the doors in the company of its little tin soldier. This unusual year, and for the first time in collaboration with the Airbnb platform, the store will open its doors and allow a family to spend the night in this magical world, to wander through the shop in pyjamas, watch the puppet show and learn with Professor Atlas or the mad Inventor Abracadabra while the little solder tells stories to the children. The lucky ones can choose between sleeping in a sleigh or in a bed with reindeer; dancing on a giant piano and many other experiences. That day, the shop will donate a portion of the proceeds to the U.S. National Cancer Institute for children with cancer and other diseases.
3: Gancedo (Madrid)
It has turned its central window display into the greatest show on Earth, the interior of a circus tent designed by the Cousi Interiorismo studio. A combination of colours and fabrics in velvet and russet tones that form a very colourful backdrop using large curtains.
4: Harrods (Knightsbridge London)
The world’s largest luxury department store kicks off the Christmas season with their window displays dedicated to space. Each of its windows will be illuminated daily to show a scene of figures travelling around the universe in search of the perfect gift, while at door 5, a huge eleven-metre-high gift box welcomes customers to a festive space.
5: Loewe (Madrid)
In its commitment to craftsmanship, the Spanish firm, with the help of its designer Jonathan Anderson, has devised colourful and eye-catching shop windows linked to the Christmas capsule collection that pays tribute to the artist Ken Price and to craftsmanship. Price is the protagonist of this year’s collection and window display. Inspired by old Mexican pottery and terracotta, they include a collection of 20 dishes that the artist created in 1980 for La Palme restaurant in Newport Beach.
6: Louis Vuitton
The symbol of travellers, the iconic trunk more than a century old in all its shapes and sizes, is the star of Louis Vuitton’s shop windows this Christmas. Wood, one of the Maison’s most treasured raw materials, is represented in the form of a tree with branches sprinkled with monochrome translucent flowers that grow and branch out to adorn the shop fronts.
7: Le Bon Marché (Paris)
The King of the Forests is the theme of these festivities in the most sophisticated stores in Paris. It was also the theme of last year, but this time the scene is covered in snow. The four windows on Rue de Sèvres are converted into three-dimensional postcards in motion. A landscape with white and golden mountains with the kings of the forest, which in this edition are four families of rabbits: those of air, wood, the seas and light dance and play.
8: Diptyque (Paris)
The firm that knows the most about aromas and traditions and that will be 60 years old in 2021, tells us a Nordic Christmas tale from Boulevard Saint Germain. In it, a deer rubs its antlers against the branches so that the smell of pine spreads through the forest. The deer is accompanied by a swan with white feathers and a lion escaping towards the Seine. All of this is contained in three Christmas candles with a beautiful design.
9: Stilleben (Copenhagen) and Tivoli Gardens (Copenhagen)
Two traditional Nordic stores. Stilleben is for household items and decoration while Tivoli Gardens is the gift shop of Tivoli Park. Decorated in the Scandinavian fashion, in white and green with candles and paying special attention to the design. (Source: Visit Denmark. Window display photographer: Kim Wyon)
10: Margarita Se Llama Mi Amor (Madrid)
One of the most unusual florists in the Spanish capital. They have skipped the poinsettia and decorated the entire façade with a display of pine branches, eucalyptus, laurels and pine cones.
11: Pierre Hermé (Paris Marrakesh)
Known as the “Picasso of pastry”, Hermé introduces the visitor to a world of colour and flavour. This is how the windows of his shops appear these days all over the world, from Paris to the recently opened Hotel La Mamounia in Marrakesh.
All of Dior’s shop windows are illuminated at the same time by these compositions made by the bulbs of the village fair in the Puglia area. Light architectures that shine in this region at night.
- 1 1: Cartier (Lisbon and Madrid)
- 2 2: Fao Schwarz (Nueva York)
- 3 3: Gancedo (Madrid)
- 4 4: Harrods (Knightsbridge London)
- 5 5: Loewe (Madrid)
- 6 6: Louis Vuitton
- 7 7: Le Bon Marché (Paris)
- 8 8: Diptyque (Paris)
- 9 9: Stilleben (Copenhagen) and Tivoli Gardens (Copenhagen)
- 10 10: Margarita Se Llama Mi Amor (Madrid)
- 11 11: Pierre Hermé (Paris Marrakesh)
- 12 10: Dior