Experience the holiday magic at Galeries Lafayette and Printemps in Paris
At the beginning of November, rainy and usually grey at this time Paris suddenly turns into a fairytale: magical trees light up on Champs-Elysées leading to the Grande Roue or the Big Wheel at the Place de la Concorde, Christmas markets or Marchés de Noël smelling like churros open up all over the city, spectacular illuminations lure tourists as well as Parisians on the streets and Paris feels festive and miraculous.
The most stunning magic happens at Boulevard Haussman: every year the facades of the glorious Parisian department stores Printemps and Galeries Lafayette are adorned with amazing decorations created by world’s most famous fashion designers.
The shop windows turn into breathtaking theatre sets featuring animated figurines and animals living in enchanting universe.
Galeries Lafayette is probably the most famous department store in the world, partly due to its Christmas decorations capturing attention of children and adults alike. Every year the store decorations have a different theme: from classy Louis Vuitton luggage carried by animated animals to white-and-gold tea parties by Christian Dior.
Of course, there is a big (and always gorgeous!) Christmas tree inside the store as well.
This year’s theme is Le Noël Monstre (The Christmas Monster), and it suggests that monsters have taken over the store!
Printemps is another of the famous French Grands Magasins, founded in 1865 on Boulevard Haussman. Naturally, Galeries Lafayette and Printemps are in constant competition for the best decoration and that’s what spurs new unimaginable ideas for the next year’s windows!
In 2012, Christian Dior created an enchanting world of fashion with miniature fashionable dolls or Poupettes all carrying tiny Lady Dior handbags.
Each one of the 74 dolls with embroidered faces, 10 of which are male, are wearing 12 different replicas of iconic Dior designs from different decades all they way up to Raf Simons’ debut collection. (Read a story of Christian Dior Fashion House and his family home in Granville.) The Poupettes were handcrafted at Christian Dior’s Haute Couture workshop at the Fashion House headquarters on Avenue Montaigne in Paris.
Printemps – A Christmas Wonderland by Christian Dior in Motion
This year, the Printemps Christmas display was decorated by Burberry. “The Magical Christmas Journey by Burberry” tells a beautiful story of a young boy who flew from London to Paris on his umbrella.
Paris never comes out of fashion, but at Christmas it is simply magical.
Just a heads-up, the Grande Roue is not permanent. It stays in Paris for three months, after which it is dismantled till next year!