Christmas 2015: Window & VM Trends
According to multinational market researchers NPD Group, festive windows influence 24% of all holiday purchases, affirming their continued value – especially in the digital era, when social-media-ready visuals are critical to building brand buzz. This year, non-traditional visual themes make the most significant impact. We highlight the most inspiring examples.
- Cosmic Worlds: Consciously courting a secular take on Christmas, London department store Selfridges' visual merchandising follows a celestial 'Journey to the Stars' theme, with each window inspired by a different zodiac sign. The interior features illuminated solar-system-inspired installations, supported by an Astrolounge in the basement. The space is described as a "leading voice on the intersection between style, mysticism and holistic wellbeing", playing host to in-house psychics, 'body-and-soul' workshops and creative technologists toying with emergent sensory tech.
- Sci-Fi Fantasies: UK home furnishings brand The Conran Shop's London stores are also oriented around cosmic displays, but with a distinctly sci-fi orientation. Its 'Christmas in Space' theme is inspired by the 1960s and 70s pop-cultural fascination with intergalactic exploration. VM boasts a vivid colour palette of oranges and reds juxtaposed with silver robot props and backlit Perspex and neon tables.
- French luxury fashion house Louis Vuitton's windows also boast a sci-fi aesthetic. Golden droid-like mannequins and liquid metallic backgrounds are surrounded by circular LED installations resembling the solar system.
- Sensory Wonder: New York department store Barneys has chosen 'Chillin' Out' as the theme for its holiday windows, which feature elaborate ice sculptures including a 4 ft-high ice castle and a Lexus racetrack. Onlookers will also be able to see ice-carving performances by NY-based 'custom ice' specialists Okamoto Studio.
- Disco Sparkle: London department store Harvey Nichols takes its inspiration from New York's infamous Studio 54 1970s nightclub. Windows feature more than a million glitter flakes, 300,000+ sequins and 620 mirror balls.
- Similarly, in New York, department store Bergdorf Goodman has collaborated with Austrian jeweller Swarovski (celebrating its 120th anniversary) on its 'Brilliant Holiday' windows. Set pieces are inlaid with more than 7 million Swarovski crystals to form a prismatic cave, and also coat products on display.
- Inside the Doll's House: London department store Liberty's windows have been transformed into a doll's house, with each window representing a different, lavishly decorated room.
For more strategic commentary and inspiration regarding the 2015 holiday season, including an overview of interactive exteriors and shoppable windows, see Holiday Pop-Ups 2015 and Digital Christmas 2015.