There’s no time like Christmas for a little togetherness, and this season two of Britain’s best loved institutions - namely Mayfair’s Claridge’s hotel and the impossibly talented Creative Director of Dior, John Galliano - have joined forces to sprinkle a little eccentric festive sparkle upon the capital.

Unveiled today, the Claridge’s tree may have taken residence a little early by most yuletide standards, but then there’s little traditional about John Galliano’s creation.
Eschewing the practice of sprucing up a spruce to within an inch of its life, Galliano’s arboreal offering would perhaps be more at home in a Japanese ornamental garden.
Inspired by Claridge’s art deco surrounds, the contorted bonsai-inspired limbs, glistening blue tinged leaves and papier-mache snow leopard prowling the branches result in an unexpectedly festive effect.
Taking its cue from Galliano’s oriental-inspired creations for Dior’s Fall Winter 2009 outing, the tree - in all it’s Far Eastern, frost-tinged glory - injects a welcome dose of avant-garde artistry into one of London’s most established addresses: as Galliano states himself, ‘I wanted to bring a twist to the original Christmas tree’. It’s safe to say that he’s succeeded.