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Traditional vs Non Traditional

Are we evolving our view on the Christmas themes? Ushering in a new era of visual displays for the festive season? We’ve picked our favourites for 2015 on both sides of the spectrum.

female dummies in the same poses
santa claus in store window

Selfridges and Harvey Nichols have moved away from the conventional and have created astoundingly grandiose windows this season.

Selfridges have gone with a zodiac theme - twelve windows, twelve star signs - pretty simple genius right? The end result is worlds apart from the Santa Claus themes in 2008 and is without a doubt our most favourite Selfridges visual project ever (anything with that much glitter on it gets our vote every time!).

Harvey Nichols again have ditched the Santa/Reindeer run of the mill Christmas themes but have stayed in the party mood with a tribute to the Iconic Studio 54, the theme suits their glamourous image and again brimming with glitter and glitz! Although looking back through their history, Harvey Nichols, with the exception of the odd snowman cameo, have always steered away from the restraints of conventional holiday themes.

impressive shopwindow with female manikins

On the flipside, Fenwick have gone wild with full on Santa and the Elves this year, with movement adding to the magic.  Attracting families, it’s awe inspiring, throwing in some quintessential green Fenwick bags for branding (that’s the whole point isn’t it, self-promotion?). It’s so much fun you want to step inside and be part of the magic! Proof that the Santa theme can be revitalised and is timeless.

christmas shop window

Finally, the almighty Fortnum and Mason in our eyes they can do no wrong (they could throw some empty beer cans in an old shopping trolley and still make it look spectacular in a window!).
This year as always they are full on ornate and full of colour, however, keeping with the traditional which is the essence of Fortnum and Mason. They’ve used a mass of colours and brought in some reindeer which add to the beauty and charm of the theme.

reindeer in a shop window

So what do you think?


Is carrying on with tradition and sticking to convention a lost concept or is it timeless and inviting for passing shoppers, adding to the mystery and the magic of Santa coming down the chimney, elves, tinsel, turkey and kitsch jumpers? Or should we be more versatile and adaptable, embracing other themes and connotations? We are after all a melting pot of a city with a vast array of cultural representation and rituals. The options are endless.

Photos courtesy of -Standard, Dailymail, Telegraph, Fenwick, Biscuiters