While walking down Oxford street in the cold of Mid-November, I suddenly found myself staring up in awe at a vast array of lights and greenery. As I approached the mass, I realized I was bearing witness to the legendary Selfridges Christmas window display. I began to look at each window with a mixture of fascination and disbelief. The Santas were far more unconventional than the typical sledge riding Father Christmas I was used to observing.
As the first department store to unveil their Christmas window display in 2016, precisely 65 days before Christmas, Selfridges has dubbed the theme of its festive display “Shine on!” The creative director of Selfridges, Linda Hewton said, “We are very excited about our Christmas displays this year. We’ve been thinking of creatively expressing the idea of party and togetherness at the heart of the well-known phrase ‘celebrating Christmas’ for a while now.”
The red sequined Santas are each surrounded by an alpine themed backdrop. Each Santa consists of a mind-blowing 72,000 sequins made by six different people, and each individual Santa took 12 days to complete.
Father Christmas is surrounded by a wide collection of various scenes, from a disco club to a lavish dinner party. In one particular window, Santa is seen sitting in a wooden hot tub full of colorful balls and glistening champagne bottles. There are female and male mannequins dressed in fancy clothing surrounding the hot tub, each holding a bottle or two of champagne while staring out in different directions. There are dozens of champagne bottle lying on the floor too, which really emphasize the humorous and festive wild side to the hot tubbed Santa.
Santa can be spotted as a DJ in another window display. He stands in a dazzling booth with headphones on and even a hand to one earpiece, letting us know that he’s attentive to the beat he’s playing, and in the groove. There are two party ladies in the booth with him, four dancing guests in flashy clothing, and an array of gleaming disco balls along the floor, all emanating colorful lights.
Chief window designer Morag Hickmott said, “It’s been so much fun thinking up all the different scenarios for Santa to be partying in. We’re constantly adding details to make sure everyone who sees them chuckles—there’s a lot of humor this year.”