We love a Christmas Tree - which is your favourite?
The onset of the Christmas season in London is beautifully heralded by the emergence of countless twinkling trees leading up to the 25th of December (written magically enough for Christmas?
Among the most splendid and eagerly awaited is the tree adorning Claridge's, the renowned Mayfair hotel, which, for over a decade, has been graced by unique designs from various distinguished fashion houses and designers.
In previous years, luminaries such as Jimmy Choo, Dior, Christian Louboutin, and Karl Lagerfeld have each lent their distinct touch to the Claridge's Christmas tree.
This year, the honor goes to Louis Vuitton, a cherished ally of the hotel. The tree, a magnificent and sculptural masterpiece set between two imposing LV trunks, draws inspiration from the art of travel—an overarching theme that beautifully connects the fashion house with the spirit of the hotel.
Claridge’s and Louis Vuitton share a storied history, both being established in the year 1854. During the 1850s, Monsieur Louis Vuitton assumed the role of personal layetier (essentially, a professional suitcase packer) for Empress Eugénie, wife of Napoleon III. Notably, Claridge’s became the winter residence of the empress, and Louis Vuitton himself was entrusted with packing her trunks for her stays.
The French maison's inaugural London store made its debut some decades later in 1885, conveniently located around the corner from Claridge’s. Since then, the iconic Louis Vuitton trunk has accompanied numerous guests choosing to sojourn at the Mayfair hotel, maintaining its status as a symbol of opulent travel. These renowned cases have journeyed with some of the world's most stylish personalities, including Coco Chanel, Audrey Hepburn, Lauren Bacall, and the Duke and Duchess of Windsor—who, known for their vibrant parties, traveled with a wardrobe trunk.
This tradition persists with contemporary fashion icons, with luminaries like Rihanna and the Hadids possessing classic LV luggage.
The tree stands tall with 15 chrome trunks, strategically arranged vertically in varying heights. These trunks, reminiscent of the Art Deco architecture of the hotel, come together to form a classic Christmas tree silhouette. Atop the silver trunks, amidst the snowy landscape surrounding the tree, you'll find 21 Louis Vuitton mascots, including the iconic Father Christmas. Embracing the tree are two imposing trunks, crafted in the signature LV style, adorned with Claridge's travel stickers and oversized Louis Vuitton luggage tags.
This design pays homage to Gaston-Louis Vuitton, the grandson of Louis Vuitton, known for his passion for collecting and traveling. Throughout his life, Gaston-Louis would accumulate hotel stickers, which he cherished as mementos, often adorning his luggage with these travel memories.
Given their centuries-old relationship and contemporary allure, the collaboration between these two esteemed brands comes as no surprise. Louis Vuitton, having recently achieved the remarkable feat of becoming the first luxury brand to exceed £17 billion in sales, aligns seamlessly with Claridge's, which underwent an £800 million renovation last year. Notably, this renovation included the establishment of its inaugural spa, now widely regarded as one of the most sought-after spa experiences in London.
Where is your favourite tree and how does it make you feel when you're around it?
That my friend, is exactly why they do it - the experience of the emotion....
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