When it comes to Christmas decorations, we’re a tough crowd.
Department store David Jones copped a backlash last week from shoppers dismayed over its 2015 Christmas windows, which feature plain stencils and merchandise.
Traditionally though, cities, retailers and hotels continue to go all out to capture the spirit of the season – and the clientele – with over-the-top decorations, usually revealed with fanfare and the flick of a switch.
As Christmas festivities kick off around the world, here are some of the most extravagant seasonal displays.
Harvey Nichols, London
Inspired by the 1970s disco era and the legendary Studio 54 club in New York, Harvey Nichols’ windows in London shimmer with more than one million flakes of glitter, according to design company Global Display Projects.
Photo: Printemps / Twitter
It’s the 150th anniversary of Paris department store Printemps, which means spring. The 11 Christmas windows on Boulevard Haussmann, designed with the help of a choreographer, feature a fairy who can work magic to make the season of flowers spring forth in the frosty northern hemisphere winter.
The Roosevelt, New Orleans
Festooning The Roosevelt’s golden lobby with Christmas accoutrements has been a tradition at the hotel for 80 years. This year is no exception, with 22,000 lights, 44 birch trees and many, many Christmas trees to be revealed at the lighting ceremony on December 1.
Selfridges revealed its Christmas windows on November 22, with astrology the star of the show. The 12 windows on Oxford Street, London, are filled with mystical designs based on the zodiac and the theme “Journey to the Stars”.
Bergdorf Goodman, New York
Photo: Ricky Zehavi Photography / Bergdorf Goodman
With the generous use of Swarovski crystal, Bergdorf Goodman’s holiday windows on Fifth Avenue and 58th Street capture the hectic and glittering world of fashion. This window is a label-lover’s dream, showcasing designers Emilio Pucci, Herve Leger, Dries Van Noten, Giambattista Valli, Balmain and Delpozo.
Myer steps back to 1956 with windows in Melbourne and Brisbane based on the children’s book Little Dog and the Christmas Wish. This is the 60th anniversary of the store’s Christmas windows and scenes feature iconic Melbourne locations such as Flinders Street Station and Hopetoun Tea Rooms.
Galeries Lafayette, Paris
Photo: Galeries Lafayette
The Galeries Lafayette Haussman giant Christmas tree is at the centre of a gold and silver galaxy under the store’s 100-year-old dome in keeping with the theme “Christmas from another planet”. Light and sounds shows complete the cosmic experience, drawing the crowds four times a day in the lead-up to Christmas.
Bloomingdale’s, New York
Photo: Bloomingdale’s / Facebook
Floral designer Jeff Leatham made sure Bloomingdale’s 2015 windows are blooming lovely. Masses of flowers plus Leatham’s signature faceted sculptures, which were also displayed at the Four Seasons Hotel George V Paris last year, make the flagship Lexington Avenue store shine.
Tiffany & Co., New York
Photo: Tiffany & Co. / Facebook
Miniature theatres of the 19th century are the focus of the ornate windows unveiled this week at Tiffany & Co.’s Fifth Avenue flagship store in New York. The scenes show a Christmas winter wonderland, with the company’s cool colour palette front and centre.
David Jones, Sydney
Photo: David Jones / Facebook
The black-and-white tones of David Jones windows on Elizabeth and Castlereagh streets, Sydney, left many people disappointed last week, claiming the store had missed the mark this Christmas. But DJs says it is committed to the festive season, with many events planned for shoppers during December. Artist James Gulliver Hancock will colour the Expedition of the Elves window scenes in coming weeks, bringing to life the inspiration behind the theme – children’s timeless love for colouring-in.
Photo: Harrods / Facebook
Harrods’ Christmas windows are designed as scenes from theatre, with detailed marionettes as the set designers. Makeup artists painted the puppets’ faces by hand.
Macy’s, New York
Photo: Macy’s / Facebook
Macy’s marks the 50th anniversary of A Charlie Brown Christmas with six windows at Herald Square showing scenes from the classic TV show based on the famous comic strip Peanuts, by Charles M. Schulz. The store, founded in 1858, claims to be the first in the US to feature holiday windows.
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