By Katie Wilson
Claridge’s has unveiled its Christmas tree for 2023 – and it’s a stunning Louis Vuitton creation.
An alternative to some of the iconic Mayfair hotel’s Christmas trees gone by, it’s no surprise this year’s festive offering is a giant luggage trunk, like the luxury ones Louis Vuitton is famous for.
Meant to resemble an open case, this double-height sculpture is adorned with Claridge’s travel stickers of yesteryear and an oversized Louis Vuitton luggage tag. This is a nod to Louis Vuitton’s grandson, Gaston-Louis, an avid traveller who amassed hotel stickers throughout his life and would often place them on his luggage as mementos.
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Exuding festive charm, inside it is made from 15 vertically placed chrome repurposed trunks of varying heights that tower to create the silhouette of a traditional Christmas tree and reflect the Art Deco architecture of the hotel.
Scattered atop the silver trunks and amidst the snowy landscape of the tree are 21 Louis Vuitton Vivienne mascots, including Father Christmas, all found within Claridge’s distinguished black and white marbled lobby.
This is the 14th year Claridge’s have invited a longstanding partner and friend to reinterpret their Christmas tree. Past collaborators have included fashion designers Christian Louboutin, Karl Lagerfeld and Diane von Furstenberg.
Here we look back at every Claridge’s Christmas tree since the tradition began in 2009.
Claridge’s Christmas Tree: In Pictures
Jimmy Choo – 2022
Sandra Choi, Creative Director at Jimmy Choo, was the brains behind ‘The Diamond’ Claridge’s Christmas tree in 2022. The immersive tree gave guests the illusion of stepping inside a giant jewel. The magnificent sculpture, which stood over five metres tall, took more than 350 hours to make and featured 69 reflective mirrors, 60 metres of sparkling lights and 250 aluminium panels. It was topped off with a giant, glittering bow, a nod to one of the key design themes of Jimmy Choo’s winter 2022 collection.
Dior – 2021
Kim Jones, Artistic Director for Dior’s men’s collections, designed a ‘Celestial Snow Globe’ in 2021 which was a stylish take on the classic winter decoration. Made from white Toile and lit up by state-of-the-art holographic projections, its Christmas baubles were made from iconic Dior pieces that seemed to float in orbit around the dazzling 6.5 metre tree. While Kim’s faithful dog, Cookie, hugged Monsieur Dior’s lucky star on top of the tree.
Kally Ellis of McQueens – 2020
Kally Ellis, of McQueens Flowers created an Art Deco tree for 2020 adorned with over 10,000 crystals, glass garlands and pendants, which shined a pool of light over the legendary Mayfair hotel’s lobby floor. Inspired by the Roaring Twenties, the dreamy 4.5 metre spruce was a nod to the past, but also a beacon of hope for the future following a year of lockdown.
Christian Louboutin – 2019
The 2019 tree from Christian Louboutin was an immersive installation which invited guests on a journey, transforming the lobby into a frosted forest. At its heart was a traditional tree in gold and red, dressed with fairy lights and gingerbread stilettos – and topped with a gold-leaf crown.
Diane von Furstenberg – 2018
Diane von Furstenberg designed Claridge’s ‘Tree of Love’ in 2018. The six-metre sculptural creation was coloured with a blue iridescent lustre and shimmer and decorated with over 8,000 hand painted silver-leafed leaves, glass spheres and 150 hand-blown glass hearts.
Karl Lagerfeld – 2017
Legendary designer Karl Lagerfeld was enlisted to create Claridge’s Christmas Tree in 2017. Inspired by his childhood memories of Christmas, the centrepiece was a 16-foot inverted tree reminiscent of a silver stalactite, topped with silver gilded roots and a multi-faceted, mirrored star. Underneath, Icelandic sheepskin rugs were positioned to suggest a recent snowfall.
Sir Jony Ive and Marc Newson – 2016
In 2016 Claridge’s lobby was home to much more than a Christmas Tree. Sir Jony Ive and Marc Newson, in collaboration with renowned British set designer Michael Howells, created an immersive festive installation with four-metre high light boxes, rose cast models of Scots pine and natural and photographed silver birch and fir trees.
Christopher Bailey for Burberry – 2015
2015 marked the first time that Claridge’s had a British designed Christmas Tree. Christopher Bailey’s creation featured over 100 umbrellas, each finished in bespoke gold and silver metallic fabric, and thousands of motion-sensor lights, programmed to sparkle and glitter as guests walked by.
Dolce & Gabbana – 2014
In 2014 Dolce & Gabbana designed Claridge’s Christmas Tree for a second year in a row. The eight metre-high tree brought a magical woodland to life in the heart of Mayfair. The tree was adorned with hand-painted glass baubles representing the many festive traditions celebrated the night before Christmas.
Dolce & Gabbana – 2013
Dolce & Gabbana were the designers behind Claridge’s Christmas Tree in 2013 and presented a seven metre-high Christmas tree, reinterpreted with Sicilian elements that drew on their Italian heritage. The tree was adorned with more than 450 hand-blown Italian festive glass baubles and a bespoke ‘luminarie’ framework, with the base of the tree featuring 30 hand crafted Sicilian marionettes.
Kally Ellis of McQueens – 2012
In her first turn at designing the Claridge’s Christmas tree, Kally Ellis of McQueens was enlisted for the magical display of 2012. Named ‘Forest Murmurs’, the Christmas tree featured magnolia branches and lichen moss, studded with crystal and emerald jewel eggs in white, gold and silver to create a canopy of colour and glamour.
Alber Elbaz for Lanvin – 2011
Alber Elbaz for Lanvin designed Claridge’s Christmas Tree in 2011. Alber created a dream world of colour and fantasy with his signature marionettes and a silk figurine of himself with trademark glasses and bowtie at the top of the tree.
John Galliano for Dior – 2010
In 2010 Claridge’s welcomed back John Galliano for Dior to design its iconic Christmas tree. The celebrated designer unveiled his spectacular ‘Under the Sea’ creation – a Christmas Tree made of sparkling silver leaves, pink coral, sea horses, fish, anemones, starfish and jellyfish.
John Galliano for Dior – 2009
2009 marked the first time Claridge’s Christmas Tree was designed by a famed fashion designer. The Christmas Tree by John Galliano for Dior evoked a frozen twist on tradition with a tropical tree completed with snow leopard, dragon flies and parrots.
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