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Diane von Furstenberg designs Claridge's Christmas tree

By Danielle Wightman-Stone

4 Dec 2018

London hotel Claridge’s has unveiled this year’s Christmas tree installation designed by Diane von Furstenberg called ‘The Tree of Love’ decorated with over 8,000 hand painted silver-leafed leaves, glass spheres and 150 hand-blown glass hearts.

Inspired by the Furstenberg’s passion and belief in the power of love, symbolising life and nature, and drawing particularly from the creative influences of the astrological world, the six-metre sculptural tree is coloured with a blue iridescent lustre and features six different silver-leafed abstract designed animals, from an owl representing knowledge and wisdom, a dove, peace and a horse for strength and endurance.

Highlighting the importance of nature within ‘The Tree of Love’ is a sculptural deer representing gentleness sits at the base, while a peacock represents beauty, and nestled gently sleeping, is a silver-leafed mouse to symbolise curiosity.

Commenting on the inspiration behind ‘The Tree of Love’, Furstenberg said in a statement: “Its’ roots come from the earth, its’ branches extend to the sky. The flowers become fruits, the colour of the leaves reveal the seasons. Home to birds, shade for children, and shelter for lovers. It is the symbol of strength, enlightenment and life...every tree is the Tree of Love. I wish everyone happy holidays.”

Claridge’s unveils 2018 Christmas tree

Claridge’s general manager, Paul Jackson added: “We are honoured and delighted that our friend Diane has agreed to take up the challenge of designing our annual Claridge’s Christmas Tree. Her vision of a ‘Tree of Love’ could not be more appropriate this Christmas and we believe London will be charmed by the magic Diane has created at Claridge’s.”

Furstenberg worked closely with long-time friends and collaborators, artistic set designer Stefan Beckman, artist and illustrator Konstantin Kakanias, and astrologer Shelley von Strunckel on the festive project, which also sees structural arches of silver leaves intertwined with magical fairy lights and hand-blown Murano glass baubles throughout the lobby of Claridge’s.

Claridge’s Christmas tree has become a focal point for Mayfair each festive season, and has seen the hotel teaming up with designers including Karl Lagerfeld, Christopher Bailey, and Alber Elbaz, with each putting their own twist on the Christmas season.

The festive tradition started in 2009, with John Galliano then at Dior designed the tree for two consecutive years. Galliano's creations were followed by Alber Elbaz for Lanvin in 2011, Kally Ellis of McQueens in 2012, Dolce and Gabbana decorated the tree in 2013 and 2014, followed by Christopher Bailey and Burberry in 2015, in 2016, the tree was led by Apple's chief design officer, Sir Jony Ive, and in 2017, Chanel’s creative director Karl Lagerfeld designed a sixteen foot high inverted tree.

Images: courtesy of Claridge’s