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November 30, 2011

Claridge’s 2011 Christmas Tree

By Marnie Hanel | Travel

Courtesy Claridges

Yuletide arrives in London with the unveiling of Claridge’s Christmas tree. In 2009, the Art Deco hotel introduced a new tradition by tapping talented guests to trim it. That year John Galliano produced what he described as a “frozen tropical Christmas,” replete with icy blue snow leopards and crystal orchids. In 2010, Galliano took the holidays “under the sea,” with a coral creation flanked by giant sea horses.

This December, Lanvin Creative Director Alber Elbaz gives the traditional tannenbaum a Continental twist. The Christmas evening tableau depicts the Lanvin family, created in handmade silk poupee figures, lounging on French antique furniture after a few too many tipples. The cheeky cast of characters includes a doorman, a maid, Mr. and Mrs. Lanvin and—ooh la la—Mr. Lanvin’s mistress. What could be more French! The guests are perched poised to open dozens of Lanvin gift boxes, tucked under a tree bedecked with glass orbs and exotic birds designed in Lanvin’s Paris atelier. Floating above all, a Christmas topper displays a magic wand, glitter wings and decidedly familiar spectacles. In this fantastical creation, Alber Elbaz is an angel indeed. On display until January 2, 2012; claridges.co.uk.