Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana have built an Italian Christmas Market in Harrods.
There is a tree out of front of the store, decorated in gold ribbons and colourful lights. The windows, that are always a Christmas spectacular and a destination in themselves, are designed in the style of a Sicilian puppet theatre, with Dolce and Gabbana appearing in marionette form to introduce passersby to the story of the house.
On the fourth floor, visitors are now able to walk into a replica Italian piazza strung with coloured lights. Booths display a variety of goods, many designed exclusively for the department store, including floral and sequin-embroidered women’s evening dresses, festive men’s suits in striped lurex and silk shantung, and children’s ready-to-wear. Those on the hunt for gifts will find displays full of toys, fragrance, fine jewellery, shoes, handbags and other accessories. The Italian Market is a mashup of fun, vibrant colours and is complete with special lighting and Sicilian carretti, made of flowers, dazzling colours, vivacity and joy.
This is not the first time Harrods has had a single brand to deck its halls for Christmas. Last year, Burberry installed, “A very British fairy-tale,” in the store’s windows. In some ways, I was surprised when I saw that it was Dolce & Gabbana who were taking on the task this year; I would have expected Harrods to select a more traditionally British brand, like Burberry, to mirror their origins.
At the start of the month, Dolce & Gabbana marked the opening of their Sicilian Christmas market with a capsule collection modelled, in the food halls, by young British aristocrats and leading millennial influencers.
The collection was full of energy and integrated British trademarks that Harrods are known for, into the red-blooded Italian glamour embodied by Dolce & Gabbana. The collection saw dramatic gowns and lace dresses adorned in flowers and fruits, heart-shaped Union Jacks, royal guard motifs and other traditional nods to the kingdom. This, in my opinion, paid homage to the British heritage culture the designers love and admire. The millennials who walk the show included, Lady Kitty Spencer, Lady Tatiana Mountbatten, Lady Alice Manners, tiara-clad, alongside, Rafferty Law, Tom Brady, Pixie Lott and her boyfriend Olivier Cheshire. The show had a family vibe about it, maybe showing the importance of this over Christmas time and reflecting the values of Harrods.
I really like how the house did not select the traditional models for their show. The millennial talent represents the generation that are breaking with the conformity and uniformity of society, and calling for freedom of identity which I feel is very relatable. They brought more character to the show which for me made it more exiting and honest.
The windows are filled with tradition, the love of family, and a celebration of the special time of year with a sense of fun and Italian spirit. Streamers and neon lights adorn the ‘Let’s Party’ window and mannequins wearing rollers and silk dressing gowns sit amongst the Italian Beauty display. Each of the 14 scenes also features the designer duo as Sicilian puppets – styling hair, making dinner and handing out gifts to their families.
What do you think of Harrods Christmas windows this year?