The Christmas tree in Claridge’s hotel in Mayfair has long been a London festive landmark – and a “playground” for design visionaries.
The five-star hotel’s annual Christmas tree collaboration began in 2009 and has previously seen creations by John Galliano while head designer at Dior, former Burberry design chief Christopher Bailey and Alber Elbaz while creative director at Lanvin.
Last year’s creation, imagined by Chanel creative director Karl Lagerfeld, featured an upside-down tree.
This year, sartorial virtuoso and businesswoman Diane von Furstenberg took up the torch in crafting the iconic tree.
Von Furstenberg, whose eponymous fashion brand’s logo is a pair of lips, was previously known as Princess Diane of Furstenberg following her marriage to ex-husband Prince Egon von Furstenberg of Germany.
The Christmas tree, titled “The Tree of Love”, is situated in the hotel’s lobby and was inspired by the American-Belgian designer’s enthusiasm and strong belief in the power of love and reflects ancient traditions of the astrological world.
“Its roots come from the Earth, its branches extend to the sky,” she says.
“The flowers become fruits, the colour of the leaves reveal the seasons. Home to birds, shade for children, and shelter for lovers.
“It is the symbol of strength, enlightenment and life … every tree is the Tree of Love.”
The six-metre (20-foot) tall Christmas tree, tinted with a blue iridescent lustre, features more than 8,000 hand-painted silver-leaf leaves, glass spheres and 150 hand-blown glass hearts.
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@MrLondon & @AlisInWorldLand X @ClaridgesHotel for the unveiling of Claridge’s Christmas Tree 2018 by @DVF ‘The Tree Of Love’ celebrates all aspects of love and life and is rooted in Diane’s belief in the power of love. What do you think guys?! Let us know... // #thisislondon #london #claridges @paulafitzherbert ️
A post shared by @LONDON (@london) on Nov 27, 2018 at 2:59am PST
Six silver-leaf animals sit in or under the tree – an owl representing knowledge and wisdom, a dove for peace, a horse equating strength and endurance, a deer to symbolise gentleness, a peacock representing beauty, and a mouse epitomising curiosity – qualities that have influenced the designer’s fashion portfolio over the years.