According to Claridge’s it’s the official start of Christmas, not advent or the first department store advert but the launch of the Claridge’s Christmas tree. London’s most glamorous tree in one of the capital’s smartest hotels, Claridge’s tree is always a statement, an event and well worth a visit. And this year doesn’t disappoint.
The Mayfair Hotel yesterday unveiled the 2020 Claridge’s Christmas Tree, designed by leading florist Kally Ellis, and the magnificent installation really does stand shoulder to shoulder with the diverse trees that have graced the famous lobby (for context, last year was Christian Louboutin).
The first conundrum facing a designer planning their big Claridge’s Christmas tree is whether to bother doing a Christmas tree in the first place, or just go totally freestyle.
Diane von Furstenberg’s 2018 tree wasn’t your usual evergreen, while John Galliano’s 2010 effort and and Sir Jony Ive’s 2016 experience jettisoned the whole tree concept altogether.
Kally Ellis of McQueens, back for second dibs as Claridge’s Christmas-tree-ographer, having also designed the 2012 tree, has gone with a natural shaped tree, and it’s predictably as spectacular, as you’d expect.
A timely reminder of a moment in history when people were also looking for a symbol of hope and happiness...
The tree mirrors the lobby’s Art Deco vibes, evoking the Roaring 20’s and is intended as a timely reminder of a moment in history when people were also looking for a symbol of hope and happiness, post World War One.
Claridge’s Christmas Tree 2020 is designed with snowy branches covered with over 10,000 crystals, glass garlands and pendants, reflecting light and ‘creating a frozen dreamscape across the distinctive black and white marbled and mirrored Art Deco lobby’.
At 14 and a half feet tall the tree dominates and it’s almost magical to see, not least because it genuinely is fabulous, but also after a universally sub-par 2020 seeing something as normal as the Claridge’s Christmas tree is an event in itself.
Which probably means that Kally Ellis has achieved her aim in creating a symbol of hope and happiness.
Here’s to the 2021 tree!