Welcome to the new Independent website. We hope you enjoy it and we value your feedback. Please contact us here.

John Galliano designs Claridge's Christmas tree

John Galliano, the creative force behind the Parisian haute couture house Christian Dior, has designed Claridge's legendary Christmas tree for the second year running.

For 2010, Galliano used the ocean as his muse. Made of sparkling silver leaves, pink coral, sea horses, fish, anemones, starfish and jelly fish, the festive centerpiece will be on display to the public in the lobby of the ritzy London hotel from now through January 5, 2011.

Commenting on the collaboration, Dior Creative Director John Galliano said, "The majestic beauty of Claridge's Art Deco interiors never fails to inspire me. I am thrilled to be invited to create a new tree for Christmas at Claridge's. I hope we create something as sumptuous as its setting and this inspires a truly luxurious escape and a very festive season at Claridge's."

Galliano's "Under the Water" Christmas tree is a complete departure from last year's "A Frozen Tropical Christmas Tree, something to inspire!", which attracted thousands of visitors.

It is quite common for city centers, upscale department stores and hotels to commission festive centerpieces from big-name designers like Galliano, as well as from fashion brands. For instance, for the seventh consecutive year, crystal jewelry brand Swarovski has designed the 9 1/2-foot-diameter (2.8 meter), 550-pound (250 kg) bejeweled star that tops the 74-foot-high (22.5 meter) Christmas tree at Rockfeller Center in New York City. And Hermès created a giant replica of its iconic "Kelly" handbag that stands 13 feet high (4 meters) for the high-end London department store Selfridges as part of its Christmas "Play" theme.

Check out Galliano's Christmas tree:

Claridge's Hotel

49 Brook Street, Mayfair, London