LONDON — Kim Jones will create this year’s Christmas tree at Claridge’s in London, joining a roster of famous names who’ve decked the hotel’s halls over the years — Christian Louboutin, Christopher Bailey, Karl Lagerfeld and Diane von Furstenberg have been among the tree decorators of Christmases past.
Dior’s artistic director of men’s wear will be the first designer, post-lockdown, to decorate the tree, which is a major appointment on the London holiday calendar. It will be unveiled in the lobby of the hotel on the morning of Nov. 24, with an inaugural party to follow in the coming weeks.
For more than a decade pre-COVID-19, Claridge’s has always hosted a buzzy party, offering Champagne, mince pies and goodie bags brimming with holiday treats, with the tree dominating the hotel’s famous black-and-white art deco lobby.
Named “The Celestial Snow Globe,” the tree will mix holographic projections with a white toile – recalling the haute couture ateliers’ toile – to produce a poetic interplay of transparency, according to Claridge’s.
In another homage to Dior’s heritage, the Christmas baubles that appear to orbit around the tree recall Dior emblems. At the top of the tree, instead of a traditional star, there will be Kim Jones’ canine companion, Cookie, hugging Monsieur Christian Dior’s lucky star.
Jones said: “It is a great honor for me to design the Christmas tree for Claridge’s and thus bring Dior, London and the Christmas spirit together in this iconic place.”
Claridge’s co-owner, Paddy McKillen, said, “Christmas has always been a truly special time of the year for us here at Claridge’s, and we are delighted, for the first time in many years, to welcome a homegrown designer to create our illustrious tree.”
Last year, instead of tapping a designer, the hotel turned to one of its longtime collaborators, Kally Ellis, founder of McQueens Flowers in London, to create the Christmas Tree 2020.
The reveal was a virtual affair, with the Mayfair hotel letting the world know via email that it was ready for the holiday season — if a more restrained one.
London’s high-end hotels, bars and restaurants were particularly hard hit by three national lockdowns and a freeze on international travel, although business has been picking up with people returning to work in central London. Restaurants are hopping once again, with Christmas gatherings already taking place.
London is going to be seeing a lot of Jones, who will also be in town to stage the Dior men’s pre-fall show.
As reported, Dior plans to resume its pre-coronavirus tradition of traveling men’s pre-fall collections with a show in London on Dec. 9. It will be Dior’s first major event in the country since Brexit came into effect last year.