Take A Look At All The Claridge’s Christmas Trees: From Jimmy Choo To Dior To Lagerfeld

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23rd November 2023

London is a city of institutions, from the Tower’s ravens to iconic establishments that have stood the test of time. But even in a world where traditions and institutions are two-a-penny, Claridge’s Christmas tree stands tall – an annual celebration of design and beauty.

This year the Claridge’s Christmas Tree seat is occupied by Louis Vuitton. Every year the flagship hotel works with a legendary designer to create a memorable Christmas tree that everyone talks about. Just this morning, Thursday 23rd November, 2023’s tree has been unveiled and it’s as magical as you can expect.

Read on to find out more about this year’s tree and flick back at the trees of Christmas past…

2023 – Louis Vuitton

This year’s tree has just been unveiled and is created by long-time friend of the hotel, Louis Vuitton.

The Claridge’s Christmas Tree 2023 by Louis Vuitton brings together two illustrious names, both of whom have celebrated the Art of Travel, which is set to inspire this year’s tree design.

The tree is composed of 15 vertically placed chrome repurposed trunks of varying heights that tower over to create a tree-like silhouette. Glistening for all to enjoy, this mirror-like tree reflects the Art Deco architecture the hotel is renowned for. It’s encased inside a giant wardrobe trunk, with 21 Louis Vuitton Vivienne mascots scattered within the landscape, including Father Christmas himself.

2022 – Sandra Choi for Jimmy Choo

Always the most hotly anticipated luxury tree in London, 2022 saw the honour of designing it went to Sandra Choi, Creative Director of Jimmy Choo.

The Diamond, as the tree was named, plays on the heritage of Jimmy Choo, for whom the precious stone has always been an icon. Incredibly, guests were able to step inside the tree and experience it from every angle.

Claridge’s also shared: “A magnificent sculptural creation standing over 5 metres tall, with sparkling lights which pulse and undulate, and a giant, glittering pink bow as the final flourish. We invite you to step inside the tree, like stepping into a jewel.”

2021 – Kim Jones for Dior

As you’ll see as you scroll down, a fir tree shape, or indeed a tree at all is in no way a given (looking at you Sir Jony Ive) when it comes to the Claridge’s Christmas extravaganza. So Dior’s artistic director for men’s collections has kept things, by the standard of her illustrious forebears, pretty trad.

And that means holograms! The installation has been named The Celestial Snow Globe, and it’s a take on the classic snow globe that holographically projects snowflakes around the foyer to give the impression of being inside an actual snow globe. Pretty trippy.

The tree features a white Toile, a reference to the emblematic haute couture Ateliers’ Toile and a call-back to Jones’s day (non-tree-ing) job at Dior. It’s also topped with Kim Jones’ dog Cookie, who is clinging onto Monsieur Dior’s lucky star.

202o – Kally Ellis for McQueen’s

Florist and McQueen’s founder Kally Ellis returned for a second bash at the Claridge’s tree in 2020. Rounding off the most tumultuous year in recent history, 2020’s tree was inspired by the roaring (19)20s and intended as a nod to post-first world war hope and happiness.

The design, dripping in over 10,000 crystals and glass pendants, is more ethereal than her 2012 tree (scroll down and keep going) and echoes the Art Deco styling that Claridge’s is famed for.

We were also rather then by the accompanying video, featuring maids and the tree in all its glory.

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2019 – Christian Louboutin

The ‘King of Shoes’ proved that he’s got more to offer than high heels and blisters by lending his brand and creativity to Claridge’s for the 2019 tree.

Christian Louboutin, a long-time fan of the Mayfair hotel, unveiled The Loubi Express, a glittering red train stationed in the hotel’s black and white checkered lobby.

And, of course, the train was glistening in the signature Louboutin red of his shoes’ soles.

There was an immersive element too, guests could book in for cocktails and canapés aboard the carriage. And for the tree, it was one of Claridge’s tallest, topped with a glorious twinkling golden crown and surrounded by smaller trees toppled with ‘snow’.

2018 – Diane von Furstenberg

So the first thing you’ll probably notice about Diane von Furstenberg’s tree is that it’s not exactly a Christmas tree in the true conifer sense.

But then it’s not got tinsel or a fairy either, so perhaps we’re on an artistic plane above all that. The tree, dubbed ‘Tree of Life’, DVF’s tree is surrounded by a number of sculptures, a deer representing gentleness, a peacock for beauty and a sleeping mouse, meant to symbolise curiosity. There’s an owl in there too.

The 18-foot sculptural tree has an eery blue iridescent lustre and shimmer, and the beauty continues across over 8,000 hand-painted silver-leafed leaves, glass spheres and 150 hand-blown glass hearts.

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2017 – Karl Lagerfeld

So this one is my absolute fave because it’s a Christmas tree, but upside down. Even my limited artistic appreciation gets that joke.

The creation of fashion world icon, oddball Bond-villain and late Karl Lagerfeld, 2017’s tree was spectacular even by Claridge’s Christmas tree standards.

Apparently inspired by Lagerfeld’s childhood memories (presumably he grew up in Australia), the 16-foot inverted tree, roots and all, was topped off with a large mirrored star.

Sheepskin rugs (Icelandic, no less) were strewn at the base to suggest recent snowfall. I totally love it but don’t try this at home unless you want to spend December hoovering up pine needles.

2016 – Sir Jony Ive & Marc Newson

Jony Ive is the Chief Design Officer at Apple and has basically designed everything from your laptop to the phone in your pocket so when he stepped forward to design the Claridge’s tree presumably there was only one stipulation: make sure the battery doesn’t randomly die at around 4pm.

A collaboration between Ive and Marc Newson, along with set designer Michael Howells, they created more than just a tree, but an immersive experience.

Their series of 12-foot high light boxes, along with cast models of Scots pine was innovative and incredibly pretty.

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2015 – Christopher Bailey for Burberry

Despite being a British institution, until 2015 Claridge’s hadn’t had their tree designed by a British designer yet (this is their official line, at least, but seems to overlook John Galliano, perhaps it’s because he did it for Dior or because he was still persona non grata).

Either way, they put that all right by bringing in Burberry, and their then-CEO Christopher Bailey.

And the man credited with taking the British fashion brand global celebrated our culture in the only way possible: with brollies. 100 of them, each one finished in bespoke gold and silver metallic fabric. And excitingly each one was laden with thousands of motion-sensor lights, each programmed to sparkle as guests walked by. Pretty cool, huh?

2014 – Dolce & Gabbana

Finally, a proper tree, am I right? This time Dolce and Gabbana were taking on the Claridge’s Christmas Tree mantle and the result was, for once, an unambiguously Christmassy Christmas tree! Even Kylie (pictured) was wowed!

The tree was inspired by their memories growing up and aimed to celebrate ‘children of the world’.

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2013 – Dolce & Gabbana (again)

It’s Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana again.

2013 saw the duo celebrate their Sicilian heritage. The 21-foot tree was covered in more than 450 hand-blown Italian glass baubles and a bespoke ‘luminarie’ framework and a base that featured 30 hand-crafted Sicilian marionettes.

2012 – Kally Ellis of McQueens

Florist Kally Ellis, founder of McQueens, was responsible for “Forest Murmurs”, a rather exquisite tree that wouldn’t be her last.

The creation featured magnolia branches and lichen moss and was studded with crystal and emerald jewel eggs in white, gold and silver which was meant to reflect the art deco beauty of the iconic hotel.

2011 – Alber Elbaz for Lanvin

The former creative director at Lanvin put 2011’s tree together, intended as ‘a dreamworld of colour and fantasy’.

Perhaps the most bizarre aspect was the traditional angel, which wasn’t very traditional at all but instead, Elbaz had ever the humble, substituted it for a silk figurine of himself, complete with his trademark bowtie and glasses.

2010 – John Galliano for Dior (Again)

John Galliano’s 2010 tree, his second, was themed around ‘under the sea’.

Replete with the traditional festive jellyfish (so often overlooked in the nativity story), this is probably the most outlandish one yet.

And the question that’s probably on your lips is: 'But what is it?'...

2009 – John Galliano for Dior

And this is where it all began. 2009 was the first year that Claridge’s decided to go with a famous designer for their Christmas tree.

They plumped for Dior star John Galliano who set the standard that subsequent designers would follow. His haunting twist on tradition was a tropical tree along with a snow leopard, dragonflies and parrots, which, according to Claridge, is ‘echoing Claridge’s art deco surroundings’.


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