Claridge’s unveils a new Christmas tree designed by Dior

Things have been busy in Mayfair this fall, with Connaught (Red Room) and Claridge’s (Painter’s Room) both opening nifty new cocktail bars, the former featuring artwork by Louise Bourgeois and Jenny Holzer, the last featuring a stained glass fresco by Annie Morris. Both are dripping with an inimitable style.

Of course, the season also brings the annual Christmas tree “contest” between the two legendary luxury hotels (both part of the Maybourne group). The Connaught ostensibly made an appearance last week on Carlos Place – outside, in front of the hotel – with a design by Morris and her husband Idris Khan that was meant to remind us of this time of year what binds humanity, as opposed to what divides us.

Claridge’s has just followed with the absolutely enchanting 6.5-meter-high tree which now adorns its sumptuous lobby, at the foot of the iconic grand staircase. The tradition it follows is that of the hotel’s partnership with a top-notch fashion designer (previously: Diane Von Furstenberg, John Galliano, Alber Elbaz, Dolce & Gabbana), who is then licensed to perform what has always been a magically creative concept. . This year, it is the artistic director of Dior, Kim Jones, who is in fact the first British designer hired for the post.

Painters room at Claridge’s

Jones seemed to know that what the tree needed most in 2021 was the kind of glare and sparkle that has been so difficult to access the past twenty-one months of fear, anxiety and emotional grayness, as we battled this terrible coronavirus crisis. And so he envisioned it as some sort of “heavenly snow globe,” something that may have fallen into central London from the very heavens. Dior-specific references come from the signature canvas of the Maison’s Haute Couture Ateliers, as well as the “little hands” pleating techniques of Ateliers Dior.

Using cutting edge projection art, ethereal visuals radiate from the base and up to the walls and ceiling, creating an ethereal, almost supernatural effect. It’s all nicely topped off with a replica of Jones’ own canine companion, Cookie, clutching Monsieur Dior’s iconic “Lucky Star”. And who doesn’t need a big canine hug right now? Or a lucky star, for that matter?

Jones enthuses: “It was a great honor for me to have designed the Christmas tree for Claridge’s this year. I’m excited to kick off the holiday season at such an iconic British institution and bring the festive spirit of Dior to London with my next menswear show.

For those who have Dior on their shopping list, it is definitely worth stopping by at the Peter Marino-designed boutique on the chic New Bond Street in London. Or if you’re more likely to find yourself across the Atlantic, the French fashion house also opened a spectacular new flagship store on Fifth Avenue in New York City last July.



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