In a year when going to actual, physical shops has been a rare treat for many of us, London’s department stores are pulling out all the stops to make their festive window displays extra special. If you’re out shopping in the West End this month, take the time to see this lot (following current government guidance, of course). And if you can’t make it to London for the festive season this year… well, we’ve brought the festive season to you via these photos. Enjoy.
‘Bring on 2021’ scream the windows of Harvey Nichols, summing up the collective feelings of the entire nation world. A pared-back colour scheme of black and silver rules this department store, though there’s plenty that glitters too.
The mutual sentiments continue in the form of a larger than life neon ‘Bah Humbug’, scrawled across several windows by the Knightsbridge entrance. Our feelings indeed.
Piccadilly stalwart Fortnum & Mason has turned its beautiful façade into a giant advent calendar once again. Windows of the building represent the numbered doors, while ‘2020’ is stamped in huge numbers down the side.
The effect is best seen from across the road, but do take the time to ogle the eight ground floor display windows up close too — things are kept traditional with beefeaters, servants serving Christmas dinner, and a replica of the famous Fortnum & Mason clock, with the real one perched just a few metres above.
The theme? Key moments from Fortnum & Mason Christmasses past, ranging in date from 1930 right up to this most bizarre of festive seasons in 2020.
Selfridges have realised that not everyone will be able to view their Christmas windows in person this year, so they’ve kindly put together a virtual viewing of them online. ‘Earth-conscious and unabashedly festive’ is the theme, with all installations inspired by the shape of the humble Christmas tree — and in true Selfridges style, they’ve pulled out all the stops.
Our favourite is the Royal Mail window (pictured above), a towering stack of letters and parcels, celebrating the handwritten letter and tying in with an instore Royal Mail pop-up. Elsewhere, vintage furniture, kitchenware, shoes and toys all get a look in, with items displayed all available to buy in store, of course.
Three artists were asked to make their own Christmas tree artworks for the windows on Orchard Street. Helen Bullock took inspiration from A Charlie Brown Christmas, while Hanna Hansdotter created glass representations of individual human bodies, and Anthony Burrill bucked the traditional Christmas tree in favour of glittering letters.
The building itself had a makeover too, with the words ‘Let’s Change The Way We Shop’ scrawled in towering, illuminated letters at the corner of Oxford Street and Duke Street.
For Liberty lovers, it’s all about the festive installation in the central atrium, and this year, we’ve got paper chains. Glittering, colourful threads hang in all directions across the open atrium, in a nod to the way in which many people have discovered a love of crafting this year. Simple, but effective.
See what else is happening in London over Christmas 2020.