Brown Thomas reveals Christmas window displays
Retailer launches attraction 64 days before Christmas, two weeks earlier than usual
Halloween is still some way off, but already it is the season to be jolly – at least in the Brown Thomas Dublin department store, which takes the wrapping off its Christmas windows on Friday afternoon, a full two weeks earlier than last year.
The store’s creative director John Redmond accepts that some people will be not be entirely delighted to see Christmas come to Dublin’s main shopping street a full 64 sleeps before the big day, but said Brown Thomas was simply following international norms.
And he expressed the hope that when the displays are unveiled, critics will be swept up in festive cheer and compelled to park their cynicism at the door.
The windows will be somewhat more traditional this year than in past Christmases, with Mr Redmond eschewing abstract and highly stylised displays and drawing inspiration instead from old-school Christmas cards .
He has focused on recreating some of the more traditional elements of the season such as presents, post boxes, snowmen and robin redbreasts, at the expense of the fashion set-ups Brown Thomas has flirted with in Christmases past.
“I know some people will complain that we are starting too early, but, to be honest, we are just trying to match our international peers,” he told The Irish Times.
“I was in Amsterdam earlier this week and already they had their window displays up. But not only that, we put a huge amount of work and investment into our windows and, normally, by the time we have everything up and looking exactly how we want it, it is time to take it down again.”
It certainly has taken a long time to put the windows together. Mr Redmond started work on this year’s eight-window display “at least in broad brushstroke terms” last December, and his full-time team of 12 have been working since summer to get the displays ready.
As well they might, with thousands of miniature figures to be hand built, 7,000 baubles to be customised to match Brown Thomas bags and more than 2,600 decorations and a kilometre of foliage to be elegantly draped over stylishly attired dummies illuminated by a million tiny pin lights.
“The displays are not focused on products. They are more about fantasy and the magic of Christmas and I think when people see them they won’t be complaining about the early start.”