In a city known for its gratuitous beauty, Paris shines especially bright during the holidays. You can see staggering displays of elegance and creativity throughout the French capital. Amongst the most spectacular comes from Galeries Lafayette’s Paris Haussmann’s store. This year’s installation is the brainchild of the wunderkind designer Charles de Vilmorin. He wears the the hat of dreamer, stylist, illustrator, artist and child at heart. Aptly Vilmorin was born on Christmas day. His vision is that of child’s play in every way. From the wondrous tree under the famed dome, the fantasy filled windows, accompanying capsule collections, brand collaborations and more.
The pièce de resistance is the gigantic tree under the cupola, inspired by holidays Vilmorin spent with his grandparents. The power went out on Christmas Eve one year. In response Vilmorin’s uncle came up with a display so bright it filled the entire room. This year’s tree is a play on light and transparency with Tim Burtonesque figures floating around the tree. All this complemented by the fantasy filled window displays. There is also a related capsule collection and other festive items. The decorations tell the story of a girl, her magic paint brush and the colorful characters they meet on their adventures
What goes into bringing the display to life? Benoît Laumaillé is in charge of the Christmas production at Galeries Lafayette. He explained it takes more than a year from conception to realization.
Laumaillé tells us this season’s collaboration is the first time the legendary store worked with a fashion designer like Charles de Vilmorin. The collaboration infuses the traditional Christmas gatherings with his rich personality and a more fashion focused universe. The inspirations come from a variety of sources: Vilmorin’s own family, comic opera, Sevilla, Jean Cocteau and more. Above all, joy and happiness are the focus.
The windows are, as expected, iconic. They are much like different chapters in a book, with strong graphics and colors. Charles de Vilmorin also brings to life colorful elves and other unique characters inspired by the store’s legendary dome. Don’t miss the very fashionable dandy Santa Claus.
In keeping with its promotion of French savoir-faire and culture, the decorations at Galeries Lafayette promote local artists and artisans. Sculptors, tailors, painters and the puppet animator Sylvain Duclou help bring the decorations to life. All the ornaments are produced locally, in Saint Maur and the windows in partnership with Atelier Bournillat.
No detail was spared. Laumaillé’s teams even worked for 4 months with a music designer to complete the ‘universe’. There is also an exclusive range of products designed for the Galeries Lafayette private label by Charles de Vilmorin, collaborations with the designer and other brands on everything ranging from fashion, food, beauty, and decoration.
The unveiling of the windows and the Christmas tree was featured in a showcase featuring Charles de Vilmorin himself and a concert by Juliette Armanet.
Catch this year’s display until December 31 and make sure to claim your free in-store gift, exclusively for HIP Paris readers at the Galeries Lafayette, Paris Haussmann store.
- Check out our ultimate gift guide for Francophiles. There’s something for everyone.
- There is much to do at the Galeries Lafayette Paris Haussmann store beyond fashion. Find out some of our favorite activities.
- The cold weather is perfect for cozying up with a movie! Try this streaming service for French content. A subscription makes the perfect gift for the Francophile in your life and there is a special discount for HIP Paris readers currently on offer.
- For more things to do in Paris this winter, here’s How to Celebrate a Winter Christmas in Paris.
Written by HIP Paris in collaboration with Galeries Lafayette Paris Haussmann. All photos courtesy of Galeries Lafayette except where indicated. Looking to travel? Check out Plum Guide and our Marketplace for fabulous vacation rentals in Paris, France or Italy. Looking to rent long or short term, or buy in France? Ask us! We can connect you to our trusted providers for amazing service and rates or click here. Looking to bring France home to you or to learn online or in person? Check out our marketplace shop and experiences.