Forget department-store windows: Sketch – the Mayfair food, drinks, music and arts hub, which in which an arts-inspired gastro-brasserie restaurant as well as David Shrigley’s Gallery can be found – is the must-visit festive installation for the last Christmas of the decade.
Christmas Here, There And Everywhere is an immersive installation created in collaboration with over ten leading talents including artists, master florists and prop makers. Divided into five dazzling installations, it explores the many Christmas rituals, customs and symbols rooted in centuries-old traditions from all over the world.
Award-winning florist and creative director Carly Rogers and her team of prop makers have transformed the Sketch entrance into a fairy-tale street-like succession of Christmas scenes, while Milliner Piers Atkinson has created a hat shop window display, evoking Sketch’s past as the London atelier of Christian Dior.
Featuring some of Atkinson’s most beloved archive pieces, worn by an array of celebrities, alongside the studio’s apparatus including a range of hat blocks, hat boxes, mannequins, pins and threads, the showcase fuses Parisian haute-couture with the glamour of contemporary East London. To complement the installation, Piers has designed an exclusive collection of lapels and hats, which will be worn by sketch’s front-of-house staff throughout the season.
Also part of the Christmas Arcades, artist Alex Haw’s ‘Arboreal Lightning’ is a magnificent LED tree-like sculpture with branches spanning from the cloakroom up to the Lecture Room’s stairway and down to the reception’s hallway. Figa & Co’s creative director Kim Beedie takes over the Glade with an enchanting floral installation entitled ‘A Storm In A Tea Cup’. An ethereal column of winter leaves and faded blooms spirals out of a delicate china teacup, pulling skyward as if caught on an imaginary breeze, the vortex climbs upwards into a luminous, rolling snow-cloud full of the promise of the first falling snow.
Carly Rogers returns to the East Bar and Pods with an imaginary decor depicting a scene of a far-away universe wherein a UFO has landed, bringing back from planet Earth a variety of Christmas paraphernalia. The installation features a four-metre wide flying saucer as well as ‘The Eclipse’ by artist Balint Bolygo. Ricky Jackson, creative director at Ricky Paul Flowers, has designed a stunning Christmas tree (main pic) as the centrepiece for sketch’s three-Michelin starred Lecture Room and Library. The tree recalls the opulence of the 18th century royal court of Russia, echoing the artistic fascination for “Chinoiserie”, the aristocratic fashion of the time
Alongside the exhibition, sketch will host a full programme of festive activities including music entertainment by sketch’s in house trio dressed for the occasion by fashion designer Karim Tassi as well as a series of dance performances by Ballerina Jenna Lee and Christmas Carols.
Photographs by Mark Cocksedge