This is not the Claridge’s Christmas Tree we were promised. This is a forest full of dark art. Correct to say it is even little creepy and scary even without Christmas lights. When Claridge’s handed over the keys to Apple’s industrial design duo Jony Ive and Marc Newson to create this year’s Christmas tree, they would not have thought about turning the lobby into a dark, magical, snow-covered forest, but that is exactly what they got. Ive and Newson received help from renowned British set designer Michael Howells.
The installation feature among other things four-metre highlight boxes that glow with black and white photographic images of snow covered silver birch trees, set on a pure white floor. Against this backdrop, rise cast models of Scots pine layered with both natural and photographed silver birch and fir trees, reaching to a canopy of natural green pine.
In the press release, the pair said, “There are few things more pure and beautiful than nature, so that was our starting point, layering various iterations of organic forms with technology. Our aim was to create an all-enveloping magical experience that celebrates our enormous respect for tradition while recognizing our excitement about the future and things to come.”
Since 2009 Claridge’s has worked with fashion designers to create spectacular Christmas trees. John Galliano had the opportunity work with the hotel in 2009 and 2010. Other guest designers to contribute include Alber Elbaz, florist Kally Ellis of McQueens and Dolce & Gabbana. Burberry’s Christopher Bailey had the honor last year.
The press release also added, “The Claridge’s Christmas Tree has long symbolized the start of the festive season in the capital. Drawing visitors and Londoners alike to admire its magnificent design. This is the seventh year that Claridge’s has invited a favorite guest to reinterpret the tree in their own distinctive style.”