Christmas is a time of celebration, but also an opportunity for retailers to expand on their creativity and bring high street enthusiasts something extra to look for. Shoppers are returning to the streets this Christmas and visual customer experience is at the centre of every store. London streets have turned into a retail exhibition, characterised by beautiful and artistic displays that fill almost every shop’s window.
Walking down central London streets this December proves to be a journey of creative exploration full of inspiring visual merchandising. Eye-catching window displays were all around the city centre. We have captured those that inspired us the most.
Fantasy and dreamland were the main themes on the high street this year. We found each window showcased unique interpretations of this season’s fantasy theme curated by creative teams and artists. Grandiose banquets and small animal figurines are the stars of the show and, if last year saw monochrome statement-making displays, this is the year of colours. The use of bright colours mixed with more pastel tones creates an aura of theatrical performance which threw us headfirst and straight down into the world of dreams.
The department store is well known for inspiring many with its visual merchandising displays, and this year´s theme “Christmas of Dreams” is no exception. The great number of windows around could present a challenge. How to bring about aesthetic coherence and unity while maintaining a sense of individuality for each piece. Selfridges lands this perfectly, each display is a piece of art on its own but can be very much appreciated in conjunction with its neighbouring windows.
Some unexpected characters made an appearance, like a playful group of small mice in what constitutes an elegant looking window. The use of animal figurines and dreamlike aesthetics goes in line with the trend of the year. The visuals are simple, not too crowded and positioned on a black shiny plinth. The smart use of simple colourful props gives the whole display an aura of light-hearted elegance.
Liberty is taking the concept of “sending joy” during the festive season quite literally. Their window display takes us to our youth, a magical journey that begins with a post box and takes us through a path of never-ending presents. The piece is a clear tribute to Royal Mail and the concept is represented through brilliant use of props and a colour palette that suggests a sense of nostalgia.
The quality of each detail is astounding, and walking around the already beautiful facade entices you to get lost in wonderland. Every corner of every window is well thought of and exciting. The crowded displays are not overwhelming but recreate a visually attractive and coherent path to a feeling of childishness and festivities. Looking back to a simpler time, when all you needed to do was send a letter and wait patiently for the presents under the tree.
Fortnum & Mason
Fortnum and Mason´s “Dream Worlds” display makes a clear statement, comparing the world of dreams with the universe customers encounter upon crossing the main door to the department store.
Everywhere you look is an invitation to let your imagination run wild with complex compositions; nevertheless, every arrangement can be broken down into smaller scenes with a visual attraction of its own. Overall, this year´s proposal is a tasty one. As per the popular trend, the aesthetics evoke a world of fantasy and imagination, however, the main focus is on a luxurious and appetizing feast. The quality of the display allowed us to get quite close, admiring the tiny details in each window. We first followed the tiny skating hedgehogs through mouth-watering candy slopes and ended up in a universe of cheese while paddling rivers of sauce with the little mice.
Standalone boutiques are not left behind and make a strong statement, calling shoppers to the ever-stylish Bond Street. They delve into the theme of fantasy through an accurate use of carefully curated props, beautifully thought of displays, and directed focus to key elements of the composition. The overall aesthetic is that of elegance and good taste, characterised by smaller but eye-catching presentations. Etro properly exploits the use of red, keeping your gaze enticed on its composition, while Chopard´s simplicity evokes refinement and delicacy. Patek Philippe draws you to a forest of illusion and Hermes lifts the mood with an invitation to walk into its world on the hand of its green figurine or up the stairs behind the small black elephant.
Without a doubt, visual merchandising displays have mastered the world of dreams this Christmas. It is extremely interesting to see the different interpretations of such a broad theme, resulting in beautifully curated and high-quality displays. Overall, the theatrics and aesthetics of each arrangement become a great source of inspiration. For those searching to stir their creative minds, a walk through London high streets might just be the right answer.