WHAT’S ON

A winter wonderland, reimagined

Take a look inside our beautiful winter window displays in the Villages, brought to you by the Amsterdam-based agency Adrian & Gidi.

Soft feathery clouds, twinkling moons and stars, and mythical woodland animals. A mirage of constellation wares and surreal, fantasy-esque elements adorn our Villages this winter, courtesy of Adrian & Gidi – the creative team behind the unique paper displays.

This year, they’ve created a playful reimagining of our magical winter wonderland, inviting you to look up, to tap into your imagination for a world of the fantastical, the extra-ordinary. “For us, these designs don't just represent the night, but much more. It’s about dreaming, a place where magical things happen. A different world where there is hope and wonder,” says Gidi, one half of the duo who founded the Amsterdam-based creative agency.

These designs don't just represent the night. It’s about dreaming, a place where magical things happen – a world where there is hope and wonder

Adrian Woods

Creative and co-founder of Adrian & Gidi

After meeting at Amsterdam’s Royal Academy of Art as students in 2007, Adrian Woods and Gidi van Maarseveen became a couple (they’re now married with children) and launched their eponymous, multi-disciplinary creative agency soon after.

Having started in fashion photography, the pair experimented with different mediums, including Gidi’s favourite, a fashion shoot for Vogue Italia featuring miniature fashion modelled on Barbie dolls. And the weirdest? “Turning lingerie into flowers or clothes into animals. Fun, but a little unusual,” laughs Gidi.

Today, they’re called upon for the craft-inspired illustration and animation you’ll have seen in advertising for the likes of Elie Saab, L’Occitane and Selena Gomez’s Rare Beauty. This signature creative style – think animated paper cut-outs – was first inspired by a six-page ELLE magazine shoot they did in 2010. From there, the trend for paper gained in popularity and it soon became their calling card. “It evolved into a reoccurring job, so each month we had to create these new miniature worlds. We used whatever we could get our hands on: clay, Styrofoam and, of course, paper,” explains Adrian. “But paper worked best because it’s so versatile, so colourful and more sustainable.”

While the delicate designs lend themselves perfectly to fashion accessories and cosmetics especially, these paper worlds offer endless possibilities to add interest, character and atmosphere to any setting.

And Adrian & Gidi’s new Village displays are no exception. The moon and the stars, the cosmos and the constellations; celestial motifs have inspired the pair to push beyond the ordinary and into the mystical, the magical, the ‘out-of-this-world.’ “We loved the idea of playing with surreal, dreamy and whimsical elements, such as magical faraway planets in a world where animals can be king or queen.”

We loved the idea of playing with surreal, dreamy and whimsical elements, such as magical faraway planets in a world where animals can be king or queen.

Adrian Woods

Creative and co-founder of Adrian & Gidi

You may think this ingenious creativity and unique design is what sets Adrian & Gidi apart. But no – it’s an incredible eye for detail, carefully managed with a small team of core creatives. To bring these elements to life, designs are first sketched out before being recreated digitally. From there, the couple are joined by an illustrator, animator and a handful of paper craftsmen, who bring their designs to life in fully recycled paper.

Going beyond purely design, the entire creation process is a story in its own right, and this translates directly into their installations. “We wanted to create little scenes, ones which tell a story – as if the viewer is walking through this world and encounters all these magical moments themselves,” they add.

But when it comes to the designs themselves, where do the pair find inspiration? Despite being favourites among luxury fashion houses, they acknowledge that seasonal trends only go so far in aiding their creative process. “Our work is influenced by (it), to a point,” says Gidi.

In this case, it’s not just fashion; “we have always had a love for magical worlds and faraway lands and have an interest in vintage illustrative posters and classic movies, such as Le Voyage dans la Lune. This was a great source of inspiration throughout the design process.”

“Our frequent walks in nature are also very important for us, it’s a great way to clear our minds and be inspired by our surroundings. For instance, we love how light shines on certain parts in a forest, highlighting shapes and colours – making our mundane world a fantastical experience.”

Find your own inspiration in their beautiful boutique displays when you visit the Village this winter.