New Christmas trends at festive fair


(6 Nov 2015) LEAD IN:
Forget traditional Christmases. At London’s Spirit of Christmas fair it’s grey decor, cherry blossom-inspired lights and gingerbread houses on the menu.
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas at London’s annual Spirit of Christmas fair.
The halls of the British capital’s Olympia Exhibition Centre are decked out with vast arrays of winter collections, festive gifts and on-trend ideas.
According to marketing tech specialists RadiumOne, the UK is planning a 24.4 billion British pound (approx..$37.7 billion USD) Christmas gift shopping spree this year.
But forget traditional trees, lights and festive decor, experts here are predicting a holiday season filled with new, original and inventive Christmas trends.
That includes Annabel Gaynor from artificial LED tree makers Enchanted Trees. When it comes to dazzling lighting, she sees customers getting much more inventive with their festive displays.
“I think people are much more imaginative about the way they’re lighting their indoor and outdoor spaces, but around Christmas and also through the rest of the year,” she says.
“And a lot of people, rather than having traditional, one light bulb want something a bit more imaginative.”
That imaginative lighting takes its inspiration more from blooming spring-time cherry blossom trees than festive ferns, but Gaynor says white – rather than pink – remains most popular.
“We call these our Cherry Blossom trees so each bulb is surrounded by something that looks like a Cherry Blossom which gives it a wonderful light,” she says.
“And we generally do white light, that seems to be what’s most popular although we do do pink lights as well.”
Enchanted Trees’ LED light trees retail from 495-1,250 British pounds (approx. $762-1,924). The company also retails LED light grapes and garlands.
While many will be hoping for a white Christmas this December, interior designers MAC Creative will most likely be having a grey one – at least indoors.
The Surrey-based company boasts Hampton Court Palace as a client, decorating its old royal halls for the winter period.
This year, they’re expecting festive decorations to reflect the growing trend in silver and grey interior designs. There’s shiny silver baubles, grey candles and crackers, and snow-covered tree decorations.
“I think it’s clean and crisp and it’s moved on from all the stones and creams that were in the 90s and gone for that neutral palette,” says the company’s founder, Jacky Macgregor.
“And now I think it’s just evolving slightly where they’ve moved on from that tone and these colours just get lost in that, but they pop out more on a grey.”
In terms of interior design, Macgregor says the next big colour will be blue, but she can’t see that fitting in too well with traditional red and green Christmas decorations.
“We’re heading towards blues, big paint companies have brought out just blue charts. So quite how it will work with Christmas decorations, I think these will still work with that,” she says.
“You wouldn’t want to put reds or greens with those, it’s not going to work.”
MAC Creative are retailing a range of Christmas-related gifts, including 45 British pound (approx. $69 USD) silver tiffany wreaths and 25 British pound (approx. $38 USD) silver star holders.
Even traditional Christmas cake seems off the menu at Spirit of Christmas. In its place is these Christmas-themed gingerbread and chocolate houses.
Village Workshop is a small manufacturer of gingerbread and chocolate biscuit house kits based in Cheshire, UK.
Spirit of Christmas Fair runs 2-8 November at Olympia London.

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