Selfridges Christmas Windows: A Recent History

Will Noble
By Will Noble Last edited 58 months ago
Selfridges Christmas Windows: A Recent History

Harry Gordon Selfridge coined the phrase 'X days until Christmas', successfully turning Edwardian Londoners into a pack of baying shopaholics in the process. Selfridge also pioneered the display window in this country, with emphasis on creating extra-bewitching scenes around Christmastime. Nowadays, Selfridges' festive windows are as much a part of a London Christmas as the Norwegian spruce in Trafalgar Square or ice skating at Somerset House.

Unfortunately, we don't have access to Selfridges' complete archive of Christmas window displays, but we can show you those from the previous five years. There have been some fanciful concepts since 2008, some of which have worked better than others.

If you've got your own Christmas display photos from Selfridges on other years, or from any other London stores, we'd love to see them in the comments section.

This year's Selfridges display is an instant plaudit-winner. The theme, entitled The Wish List, features oversized goodies such as massive Mixr headphones by Beats by Dre...
This year's Selfridges display is an instant plaudit-winner. The theme, entitled The Wish List, features oversized goodies such as massive Mixr headphones by Beats by Dre...
…and these skydiving sweatshirts.
…and these skydiving sweatshirts.
(2012) Last year's whimsical effort was the work of creative director Alannah Weston and photographer Bruce Weber. Oxford Street shoppers were introduced to designer Pudsey Bears...
(2012) Last year's whimsical effort was the work of creative director Alannah Weston and photographer Bruce Weber. Oxford Street shoppers were introduced to designer Pudsey Bears...
(2012)…and invited to a rather calamitous-looking kids party, presided over by two unamused young princes.
(2012)…and invited to a rather calamitous-looking kids party, presided over by two unamused young princes.
Back in 2011, Selfridges was selling us a dazzlingly white Christmas. Inspirations for the windows was said to range from Nordic fairytales to Busby Berkeley movies. This particular display has a sci-fi theme going on, with Yuletide bells transformed into a skyful of flying saucers.
Back in 2011, Selfridges was selling us a dazzlingly white Christmas. Inspirations for the windows was said to range from Nordic fairytales to Busby Berkeley movies. This particular display has a sci-fi theme going on, with Yuletide bells transformed into a skyful of flying saucers.
2011's collaboration with 'sonic branding and experiential sound design company' Condiment Junkie also saw each window become a music box, the panes of glass themselves acting as loudspeakers. Very cool, actually.
2011's collaboration with 'sonic branding and experiential sound design company' Condiment Junkie also saw each window become a music box, the panes of glass themselves acting as loudspeakers. Very cool, actually.
(2010) This was the year in which Timperley wonder Frank Sidebottom (aka Chris Sievey) sadly left us. Whether or not Selfridges' tribute was intentional, it was much appreciated.
(2010) This was the year in which Timperley wonder Frank Sidebottom (aka Chris Sievey) sadly left us. Whether or not Selfridges' tribute was intentional, it was much appreciated.
(2010) This was also the Christmas on which we were shown what a flood-proof caravan park might look like.
(2010) This was also the Christmas on which we were shown what a flood-proof caravan park might look like.
(2009) We're not quite sure what was happening in this year. The displays were less Santa Claus: The Movie, more Rare Exports. In this window, the Man in Red was towing the Ugly Sisters back to his grotto with undisclosed motives.
(2009) We're not quite sure what was happening in this year. The displays were less Santa Claus: The Movie, more Rare Exports. In this window, the Man in Red was towing the Ugly Sisters back to his grotto with undisclosed motives.
(2009) And in this one, an egregious Goldilocks (or is that Biggins?) was being mauled by three bears who appeared mildly more threatening than real-life grizzlies.
(2009) And in this one, an egregious Goldilocks (or is that Biggins?) was being mauled by three bears who appeared mildly more threatening than real-life grizzlies.
(2008) At this time, Santa hadn't taken centre stage in a Selfridges display for over 40 years. That was rectified with these simple yet jolly sets, in which Mr Claus headed down the local launderette...
(2008) At this time, Santa hadn't taken centre stage in a Selfridges display for over 40 years. That was rectified with these simple yet jolly sets, in which Mr Claus headed down the local launderette...
(2008) …and hoggishly risked holding up the entire Northern Line. Said the PR team back then, “Santa will be faced with the reality of life on the fast lane, having to juggle between getting ready for his round of Christmas gift deliveries and the lifestyle choices of a single man living in London.”
(2008) …and hoggishly risked holding up the entire Northern Line. Said the PR team back then, “Santa will be faced with the reality of life on the fast lane, having to juggle between getting ready for his round of Christmas gift deliveries and the lifestyle choices of a single man living in London.”

Disclaimer: although this article includes images obtained directly from Selfridges, it is not a commercial feature, and was put together out of our own editorial initiative and love of the windows, rather than any kind of PR hocus pocus.

Last Updated 09 December 2013