I love the general feeling and the community spirit of Christmas. Everyone smiles, everyone is jolly and everyone has a calmer way about them.
Before joining the Knightsbridge institution nearly five years ago, Alex Wells-Greco had worked all over the world – from Milan and Venice to New York and Shanghai. His creative education came via luxury fashion houses, including Prada and Ralph Lauren, and arts institutions and auction houses; namely, the Guggenheim and Christie’s. “From an early age, I was always fascinated with presentation and design, and what better way to express this than at one of the most renowned department stores in the world?” His day job involves “creating visual magic” for its window displays, as well as curating the visual creative treatment inside.
What is luxury to you? Luxury is both atmosphere and a story, something to cherish, remember and aspire to. It is not just a handbag or a new suit; it is also experiences that are out of the ordinary. For many, and for me included, it is time – I love having time with my friends and family, to sit and watch my favourite movie, and to try and experience something new.
What is most magical about London at Christmas? Aside from the decorations and lights, which astound me each year, I love the general feeling and the community spirit of Christmas. Everyone smiles, everyone is jolly and everyone has a calmer way about them.
How did Fantastica develop? We wanted to create something that captured the magic and essence of Christmas, in a traditional yet completely contemporary way. We played with size, scale and proportion, across all different creative mediums. I wanted the windows to be totally Instagrammable, of course, as they are the first thing that many people see when they visit us. So we created the 24 hours of Christmas, capturing every emotion, from the mayhem and glamour to the over-indulgence and generosity.
What’s on your Christmas wishlist: It might sound like cliché but just time. Taking a moment to pause with friends and family.
What are your top tips for decorating your own home? I think symmetry is really important, and selecting a colour palette that suits your own style but also compliments your interior decor.
Who’s the most stylish Londoner you know: Menswear designer Charlie Casely-Hayford – he has perfected the modern tailoring trend.
Describe your favourite London moment: I was born in Westminster and grew up just off the Northcote Road in Clapham so I have many fond memories of this beautiful city. Most recently it’s showing my two-year-old daughter the Christmas windows and decorations; just seeing her reaction puts all the hard work into perspective.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given: That simplicity is the ultimate form of sophistication.