November 6, 2013
Our theatrical Christmas windows have just been unveiled! The Palestrina Church Choir sang outside the store and marked the occasion. The opening of the Christmas windows signals the beginning of the season but the creative force behind the windows begins its life at the beginning of the year. This year the windows celebrate the glamorous razz-ma-tazz of theatre life with eight different scenes depicting behind the scenes action from dressing room dramas to the final encore performance.
Backstage blog sat-down with our Creative Director John Redmond to find out more about his creative process for the most important windows of the year.
Backstage: How did the theme of Theatre for Christmas 2013 evolve?
John Redmond: This year we wanted to the windows to be a portal into eight little scenes that people would be drawn into. As we developed the scenes idea it evolved into eight little acts and that’s where the theatre idea blossomed. Rather than focusing on particular theatrical works we looked at the magic and romance of theatre itself with the concepts of front of stage, backstage, up in the gods and all the different aspects of theatre. This developed further when we sourced gold gilded frames for all the windows and beautiful lighted bulbs, the kind you would find on a dressing-room mirror. With these concepts in place, the scene was set.
Backstage: What is your aim with the Christmas windows each year?
John Redmond: What we set out to do every year is to bring Christmas to Grafton Street and all main thoroughfares in Ireland where our stores are located. The windows bring the store centre stage each Christmas with a magical display for all. This year we have decorated the outside of the store with topiary and hundreds of lights. We also have glamorous gilded frames which extends the glamour of theatre right into the street.
Backstage: The Christmas windows began for you in January of this year. Were there any finds that you sourced for the Christmas windows that are extra special?
John Redmond: That’s a good question, there are many different props we have sourced to work with our 5-star product. I absolutely love a beautiful gold metal bow that is very Theatre that we sourced in two shades. The other very special addition to the window are some fabulous costumes courtesy of The Abbey Theatre, as guardians of The Abbey we have a special relationship and it was great to integrate these into the windows.
Backstage: What is your memory of the Brown Thomas Christmas windows from childhood?
John Redmond: As a child I always remember being brought to see the Christmas windows at Brown Thomas. There is a picture at home my Dad took of me and my family looking into the window, seemingly I was the one who was really interested! Now that I am doing what I do, I do think of that magic as a child looking at the windows and of that family life. Christmas is a time for children and family. What I love the most is when a family comes and stands outside the windows and the children are looking at every detail, standing back and taking the magic in. That’s the icing on the cake for me.
Come down to our Grafton Street store to see our theatrical Brown Thomas Christmas windows in action and the Christmas windows on all main Brown Thomas thoroughfares across the country, the season has begun.