Under the 6ft Simon Lycett tree is the modern answer to gold, frankincense and myrrh: Gucci, Prada and Vuitton. And we're not just talking socks and key rings here. No, Christmas this year for the designer label enthusiast means yo-yos, tarot cards and cheese knives.
The minds in Milan have been particularly imaginative and brought a sort of commedia dell'arte surrealism to what you get in your stocking. For starters, there's the Gucci rubber bone for the dog who has everything. You need only to part with pounds 20.50 for the privilege. Meanwhile over at Prada, you can pick up a pink or blue metallic yo-yo for pounds 89.95 which comes in its own black zip-up Prada signature bag. And if the recipient who has everything is completely uncoordinated, then there's the Prada travel draughts set. It'll cost you pounds 219, but who cares if you're impressing the person next to you in Business Class? And if you're wondering how you're going to pay for it all, you can always glimpse the future with Prada's own brand of tarot cards at pounds 49.95.
But who's going to buy all this stuff? "We've already told our customers about them, and they keep coming in asking when they'll be in," says Harrods buyer Jonathan Akroyd, who's bringing in the yo-yo, draughts and cards. "People are desperate to tap into that designer lifestyle thing."
Just think of all the uses those celebs will make of designer presents. Over at Harvey Nichols you can pick up a Marni ponyskin cushion (pounds 625) which comes with its own kimono-style sash, and is a sort of sofa-bound replica of a catwalk jacket. So now Emma Major can literally disappear into the furniture when the relatives come over on Boxing Day.
Then there's the Malo cashmere mini hotwater bottle, a useless yet luxurious hit at pounds 140 - and just the right size to warm up Ginger Spice's shitzu. And if Chris Evans wants to carve up portions of his media company, he'd best do it with a Paul Smith cheese knife which comes in at pounds 110.
And let's not forget the M-word. Designers are cashing in on the end of the century just like everyone else. Perhaps Louis Vuitton is banking on the millennium bug, because everything it's brought out glows in the dark. Perfect if there's a global power cut. While everyone else will be panicking, LV-lovers can flick through their iridescent leather diaries (pounds 220) while wearing their leather bracelets with glow-in-the-dark logo at pounds 75 a throw.
Still, Prada is more optimistic. Its millennium gift catalogue includes the Prada Millennium Champagne Kit - a pounds 642 black vinyl backpack with two silver champagne glasses and a cooler compartment for your Moet. There were rumours of a Prada Millennium Survival Backpack containing twigs for making a fire but these have been squashed by the Bond Street store. After all, that would have been a little too ridiculous, wouldn't it?Reuse content