We're getting into the festive spirit here at our London studio with the arrival of our annual Christmas window (and of course what festive display would be complete without a Christmas tree?!). Set designer, prop maker and stylist Scarlet Winter brought this year's Christmas installation to life with a piece titled 'A Paper Winter Tale'. I caught up with Scarlet to find out more.
Tell me a bit about yourself and what you do…
I am a set designer, prop maker and stylist. I design and make installations and sets for fashion, advertising, editorial and events. I studied Fine Art - Installation at Central St Martins and have been working in the industry for 3 years now. I get to create immersive, wonderful and fantastical things everyday and love it; I have to pinch myself that I get to be mucky for a living!
Who and what inspires you?
Blackpool! I was working on a show up there 5 years ago and the faded glamour of the place really affected me. I love places, people and things that once were wonderful but have fallen by the wayside and gone a bit weird (Miss Havisham pretty much sums it up!). I am drawn to the nostalgic, and often the eccentric! The Cabinet of Dr Caligari, Wes Anderson, and the films of Powell and Pressberger (particularly the Red Shoes) have all made great visual impressions on me. I've always loved the work of Tim Walker and Shona Heath (who I often now work for) and when I discovered you could actually make weird and wonderful things for a living I decided that was the job for me!
How did you approach the Mill window? Tell me about the inspiration behind this…
I've been a bit obsessed by pop up books and paper theatres of late and was desperate to make a giant one. I wanted to create something magical and atmospheric but not typically 'Christmassy'. I wanted to evoke more of a natural winter scene with a hint of fantasy, which is why I based the window loosely around the story of 'The Snow Queen' by Hans Christian Anderson which seemed like the perfect backdrop.
Are there any materials that you particularly enjoy working with?
I love a challenge and learning to work with new materials so I tend to be more led by the project... Though I do share a nerdy 'tool of the week' competition with my dad! (My parents bought me a Stanley Rolling Workshop for my birthday and it's my most prized possession!)
What's your favourite part of Christmas?
The excessive amounts of delicious food… but mainly watching my family get more and more raucous and giggly as the day (and alcohol) progresses.
Christmas on the beach or Christmas in the snow?
Definitely in the snow. There is something inherently wrong about having a Father Christmas looming over you when you're in a bikini.
What's at the top of your Christmas wish list this year?
World peace… Failing that an iMac would go down a treat!
Thank you Scarlet for helping us kick off the festive season in style! You can follow more of Scarlet's work via her twitter feed @scarletdidwhat