Hanging decorations have become the most popular way to decorate the Christmas tree and provide consumers with the ability to show their own personality and creativity. Retailers have moved a long way from the years of plain glass baubles and now consumers are able to find a huge variety of characters and icons to chose from. Ironically, one of the biggest trends in hanging decorations from 2017 is to opt for no trend at all. Whether as a reaction against overly themed styling or as a need to express individuality, the popularity of seemingly random and mismatched baubles continues to dominate the market.
However, there will always be some characters which prove to be more prominent than others. We have picked out a few of the most important icons from this Christmas.
The Llama was this festive season’s most quirky icon and offered a cute and friendly character reference for all the Latin American inspired collections that were so popular this season.The llama happily sits next to the cactus and textural craft decorations which have been used in abundance. Humourous phrases such as ‘La la llama’ and ‘no drama llama’ as well as a number of eye-catching window displays (see feature image) have caught our eye. The Peruvian animal is a hero icon for John Lewis and Paperchase who have both featured it across decorations and right through to printed pattern on gift wrap and cards.
From decorated and glitzy like this bejewelled fellow (far right) from Marks and Spencers to Arctic scenes and Scandi simplicity, the bear continues to be a popular character this Christmas. For 2017, the prominent move on is for more sparkle. Compared to previous years, however, we have also seen parings of bears like this parent and child duo (middle) from Sainsbury’s.
Just a small selection of the cactus we have seen on the market this year. As you can see they have appeared in a wide variety of styles and materials. The claydough version from John Lewis has a very naive and childlike feel. Liberty ranged a number of styles including this felt version (above left) which would appeal to those looking to replicate a crafted Latin American style. We also saw a metal wire cactus from John Lewis, this fringed foil pinata cactus version from MeriMeri Party and a glitter cactus from Selfridges.
In past Christmas seasons, the trend for birds has been predominantly natural with varying textures of feathers and a sprinkling of glitter. This season, the bird ornament is more flamboyant and ornate. Flamingos have continued from the summer months and other birds such as swans, doves and owls bring an element of familiar playfulness to collections as many are adorned with top hats, crowns and lots of glittery detail. Even the small garden bird has been given a bright shiny makeover like these colourful examples from The Conran Shop (above left).
The standout trend this Christmas is for the contemporary revival of nostalgic decorations such as foil, tinsel and snowflakes. Origami has become extremely popular over the last two years, influenced by the complementary similarities between Scandivaian and Japanese traditions in design. So this Christmas, as predicted, origami has made its way on to the tree too. The popularity of paper decorations both concertina and honeycomb techniques has caused an explosion of different variations – this wreath (above right) is a great example from The Conran Shop.
Marble is the much-loved hero material of 2017, so it’s no surprise that it had been included in some of the most stylish Christmas products. These blue marble baubles from Liberty (above left) capture the mesmerising effect of a snowy night sky. Deep inky blue continues as a popular colourway. These white and great marble baubles from Heals (above middle) come in a variety of shapes and surface textures, making them all the more appealing. Selfridges store and window display this year was “With Love From”, celebrating their love of London and the very British red, white and blue colour palette was evident across the store. This wrapping paper (above right) included opulent gold and a liquid marble pattern.
So what decorations worked for you this year? Which ones caught your eye? We’d love to know……….