As the cold weather approaches and we reach for our hats and scarves, Oxford Street has transformed into a winter wonderland, with snowflakes, stars and icicles dripping from every window ledge. All the way down the street hang beautiful white lanterns, as if the flagship stores are in the midst of a playful snowball fight, whilst charming lights are nestled in the trees; waiting to be brought to life on November 12th.
As someone who often feels like a bit of a scrooge when the Christmas music starts jingling in shops and on adverts, it is impossible not to be drawn in to the wonderment and the infectious excitement of the Christmas windows, especially those of the major department stores.
The two that especially caught our attention, not to mention that of the swathes of tourists clustered around them taking photos, are Selfridges and John Lewis. The two stores have managed to showcase their products in completely different, yet incredibly creative ways.
Bold and attention grabbing, a huge neon ‘Destination Christmas’ sign, designed by Chris Bracey, sits atop the main door into Selfridges, making it very clear they are vying for the top place in the Christmas shopping experience, which is mirrored in the window displays. They are, as ever, total escapism into a magical festive grotto, full of snow, elves and reindeer, not to mention the kind of presents that Christmas dreams are made of. Most of the windows feature oversized items such as a giant Yves Saint Laurent handbag, or a huge bottle of Jose Cuervo tequila, all echoing the spirit of giving and celebration during the festive season.
The windows focus around the tradition and heritage of the department store, reminding you of the enchantment of Christmas as a child, instilled with dreams of Father Christmas and his sleigh.
In complete contrast to this are the wholly inventive and contemporary feel of the John Lewis windows. Showcasing their range of perfect gifting products in a new way, John Lewis have constructed a menagerie of fabulous animals, from a robotic looking vacuum cleaner reindeer to a huge leather accessories brown bear.
The windows are eye catching and witty, really communicating the fun of Christmas and the spirit of the John Lewis store.
Whether you are looking forward to a traditional or contemporary Christmas, London has yet again displayed its imagination and retail ingenuity, getting us all thinking about our Christmas shopping, and feeling that tingling festive anticipation.