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A festive room with a view

Drapers asked level 4 visual merchandising students from the Fashion Retail Academy to critique this year’s Christmas windows across a selection of fashion and non-fashion retailers in London. Here are 10 that are sure to put passing shoppers in festive mood.

Selfridges

Oxford Street, London W1

“The ‘snow’ window is magical, yet contemporary, as it’s still linked well with the other Selfridges windows. White can be dangerous to use because it can be dull and lack depth. However, the balance of lighting and props and mannequins make it work well.”

9/10

Harvey Nichols

Knightsbridge, London SW1

“An effective use of visually striking lighting. The scheme is carried across the building’s exterior. At first glance there is confusion about the ‘unfinished’ concept, but when scrutinised it’s apparent that the window has been frozen in time.”

9/10

Mulberry

Bond Street, London W1

“The high quality of props reflects the price points of the items on show. However, the display is visually heavy with the focal point overshadowed by the props.”

6/10

Beyond Retro

Cheshire Street, London E2

“The Beyond Retro windows are playful and kitsch and true to the store’s vintage brand identity. The window is brought to life as the mannequins are transported to 1950s-style Christmas scenarios with a strong sense of humour.”

7/10

Harrods

Brompton Road, London SW1

“Glamorous, over-the-top and magical. Everything you want your Christmas to be. The winter wonderland theme works in conjunction with the Swarovski collaboration. It’s made the scheme look dramatic and classic. It’s our favourite.”

9/10

Liberty

Regent Street, London W1

“Liberty’s take – the 12 days of Christmas – encompasses drama and theatre, with strong styling and groupings of mannequins in a highly creative way. There is a strong selection of product, making these windows commercial. It’s a luxurious festive theme.”

8/10

Fortnum & Mason

Piccadilly, London W1

“This is a luxurious and theatrical show rather than a display. Fortnum & Mason stays true to its identity as a brand and amazes customers with its extravagant displays. The Parisian burlesque theme is consistent throughout with a bold use of colour.”

10/10

Topshop

Oxford Street, London W1

“This scheme strikes you with its theatricality in terms of the mannequins and layering of white laser-cut shapes within the foreground of the window. Movement and vivid shapes play a pivotal role in showcasing a multitude of product.”

8/10

Reiss

Barratt Street, London W1

“Reiss has incorporated strong and creative props within its concept, using them as a means to display not only its props but also its mannequins. Unfortunately, these are lost within the store, resulting in a less-than-impressive design.”

5/10

Barbour

Long Acre, London WC2

“A confusing window scheme:  childlike cartoons and traditional coats, dressed on bust forms.  We feel this scheme is in danger of dating the brand.”

4/10

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