French luxury fashion house Dior has transformed Harrods into a giant glittering gingerbread house for the holiday season, as it takes over 44 window displays and illuminates the façade with stars, roses and flowers.
‘The Fabulous World of Dior’ takeover runs until January 3, 2023, and celebrates Monsieur Christian Dior’s love of British elegance and the fashion house’s ongoing partnership with the luxury department store. The Christmas collaboration also marks the largest luxury brand takeover of Harrods.
Window displays and illuminating façade
At the heart of Dior’s takeover must be the festive magic displayed across the 44 window installations, with “small theatres of wonder” to be seen from Brompton Road to Hans Crescent, via part of Basil Street. Inspired by the “celebration of dreams and Dior savoir-faire,” each display is showcased against a backdrop of gingerbread, with mouldings and details sculpted in sugar and caramel, alongside outfits designed by Maria Grazia Chiuri for the Dior cruise 2023 line, Dior beauty and fragrances.
While the Brompton Road façade of Harrods has been decked out in a dazzling installation, reinterpreting sketches created by Chiuri and Roman artist Pietro Ruffo for the Dior cruise 2023 collection. Highlights include the classic Dior references, such as the compass rose, a symbol precious to the founding couturier, as well as celestial choreography and stars displayed on the ornate Edwardian architecture of the department store.
Dior has also crafted a central star structure, erected to an impressive height of seventeen metres, the building’s largest structure to date, which seems to dance in front of the dome of the British department store, guiding visitors within. While a few steps away, on Hans Crescent, the entrance at Door n°5 is ornamentally flanked by a majestic forest of biscuit fir trees.
Two exclusive pop-ups
Inside the landmark department store, Dior has created two exclusive multi-experience pop-ups, which draw their décor from “the most beautiful Christmas fairytales”. The first, designed as an authentic gingerbread house, represents Monsieur Dior’s Atelier and features the fashion house’s leather goods and accessories, including the Lady Dior and Dior Book Tote.
While the second pop-up offers a gift shop inspired by a cabinet of curiosities featuring “the perfect present,” from ready-to-wear to shoes. Highlights include sweaters adorned with poetic patterns, homeware items from the Dior Chez Moi capsule, and a series of T-shirts featuring socially aware prints evoking the first-ever collection of Maria Grazia Chiuri for Dior.
Dior highlights beauty and fragrance
This Christmas takeover aims to highlight all areas of Dior, including beauty and fragrance, which are getting two additional temporary spaces. One is dedicated to La Collection Privée Christian Dior fragrance collection, complete with a dream workshop “tracing the history of Dior through the prism of its signature compositions” including Gris Dior, Ambre Nuit, Oud Ispahan and Bois d’Argent. While the other focuses on “mark-up, the art of perfume and exceptional pampering,” explains Dior in the press release.
‘Kingdom of Dreams’ exhibition
Alongside window displays, pop-ups and a café, Dior has also created an exclusive in-store ‘Kingdom of Dreams’ exhibition that explores the tradition of gingerbread houses. Dior has crafted its landmark locations, from Granville to La Colle Noire and 30 Montaigne, entirely out of gingerbread cookies in micro proportions.
The enchanting display recounts the Dior journey so far, from gingerbread Monsieur Dior thinking about the future silhouettes he will fashion to trying his hand at embroidery, and in the perfume atelier, there is a scale model of the original Miss Dior dress, echoing the first Dior fragrance. While on Avenue Montaigne, a mischievous fairy transforms a piece of candy into a Bar jacket with a wave of her wand.
Le Café Dior at Harrods
Once the customer has seen the windows and the illuminated façade, bought a Dior gift or two in the pop-up, and visited the exhibition, there is only one thing left - to eat a Dior-inspired gingerbread cookie. Inside the French fashion house’s elegant tearoom, complete with chairs dressed in its iconic Dior toile de Jouy, fans can eat gingerbread in the shape of the Dior Bar jacket and the Lady Dior bag, as well as the signature CD Diamond motif and even the 30 Montaigne plaque.
Le Café Dior, open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, also offers a menu filled with “classic great classics of French cuisine and culinary specialties with a twist of British influence,” such as Cornish crab with green apple, Atlantic lobster Thermidor and its yuzu vinaigrette, and a roasted chestnut velouté with winter chanterelles. For those with a sweet tooth, the menu also offers a selection of gourmet creations, including tarte tatin or pear baba and pastries reinventing traditional Christmas desserts, such as a sumptuous honey cake in the shape of a Christmas tree.