Selfridges had some news with a maximalist and minimalist edge this week with the former being the launch of its Christmas extravaganza windows and the latter the news that Arket is opening a concession there this month. The retailer has launched Showtime!, ‘a theatrical extravaganza loaded with festive drama and delight, inspired by the glamour of the stage’. The windows of its Oxford Street flagship have been decorated in collaboration with costume designer Max Allen, hairstylist Sam McKnight, scenic painter Queenie Ingrams and prop maker Matilda Greenwood. The store is featuring ‘a cast of Christmas characters that have taken over 100 hours to install by a team of 50, using 500m of fabric to make the curtains and stages, 2,000 baubles and 150 fabric bows’. It also worked with Benjamin Pollock’s Toyshop, which is one of the oldest toyshops in London, to create a series of dioramas on Orchard Street ‘that celebrate the fantasy of stagecraft, using reimagined archive imagery’.
Meanwhile Arket opened its first-ever concession in the Oxford Street branch on 24 November. Until now the brand has only operated standalone stores or been available online. The new concession will showcase a curated selection of Arket’s womenswear collection. It will occupy an 893sq ft space on the third floor where many premium labels such as Sandro, Reiss, Maje, The Kooples, Zadig & Voltaire and Whistles can be found. The design of the space will be in line with Arket’s understated approach with a palette of soft greys, custom-made tables and objects in Arket signature terrazzo stone. The lounge area includes restored pieces in a collaboration with Artek 2nd Cycle, the platform for pre-loved Artek lighting, furniture and other everyday objects from the Finnish heritage brand.