’Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house,
Not a gadget was bleeping, not even a mouse…
Okay, we’ve not gotten to the “Silent Night” part yet, but it’s now officially the festive time again, when your diary doesn’t have space for all the events. Everyone is running around, making plans to definitely, absolutely meet up before the year ends because…because you just have to try and condense seeing your entire contact list between now and the 25th of December. Why? Well, think how much Father Christmas achieves in one night.
In London, Christmas doesn’t officially begin for the ritzy, glitzy fashion set until Claridge’s unveils its tree. It’s a tradition dating back to 2009, with a roll call that includes designer trees by John Galliano for Dior, Dolce & Gabbana, Burberry, and last year, Apple’s Sir Jony Ive and Marc Newson.
This year is the turn of the legendary Karl Lagerfeld. A bit like Father Christmas, he doesn’t need any introduction. He’s the creative director of Chanel, Fendi, and his own Karl Lagerfeld brand; a photographer; a designer; a cat-lover; and another similarity: you wonder how he fits everything into his day.
For Claridge’s, the chicest hotel in London, of which Spencer Tracy once fabulously commented, “I don’t want to go to heaven, I want to go to Claridge’s,” Lagerfeld turned Christmas on its head—literally—with a suspended, upside-down tree. And a bit like that other crucial festive figure, Lagerfeld was unable to attend its “official” unveiling last night, but at least one of them sent a quote. Lagerfeld commented: “Christmas trees are the strongest ‘souvenir’ of my happy childhood.”
Let’s be thankful fashion is in charge of the tree and not the turkey. Imagine, if you will, a party that’s a mix of Downton Abbey dipped in twinkling baubles, with all the excess, enchantment, and wonder that is festive. The tree looks like the result of a really raucous fete, perhaps a prequel to the one celebrating the unveiling, where clearly, the fairy on top shook herself off and, unlike Cinderella, didn’t stop partying at midnight.