John Galliano to Design Claridge’s Christmas Tree

galliano_xmas.jpgIf we weren’t saving up all of our spending money (in a Harry Allen-designed piggy bank, naturally) for Art Basel Miami, we would be snapping up one of those freshly discounted airfares to London. Once deposited across the pond, we’d head straight for the Ed Ruscha retrospective at the Hayward. After stopping off to check out the Glenn Brown show at Gagosian and a tour of Gensler-designed Horseferry House (Burberry’s new global headquarters), we would repair to our hotel for a scone or two. That hotel, of course, would be Claridge’s, and not just because it is home to a sublime set of suites designed by David Linley. The hotel has signed up Christian Dior creative director John Galliano to work his magic on its Christmas tree. He is the first fashion designer to get the gig.

Upon hearing the news, we wondered if Galliano would return to one of his great themes of seasons past: pirates, geishas, toreadors, Joan Crawford? He’s elected to go tropical by way of the orient, with a papier-mâché tree adorned with crystals, sparkling leaves, and orchids. The shimmery blue and white palette recalls that of the Empress Josephine-inspired gowns he sent down the runway for the spring 2005 Dior couture collection. “I hope to bring a twist to the traditional tree,” said Galliano in a statement. “I want to combine the festive with the innovative, the spirit of Dior with the beauty of Claridge’s, and create something spectacular that will inspire the perfect start to the season!” The tree will be unveiled in the lobby of Claridge’s on December 1.