“They deck the halls with boughs of holly, and much, much more...”
Bandra is the epicentre of all Christmas activities in the city, and anybody who’s lived here long enough knows it. From brightly lit-up streets to carols flooding the air, not to mention those delicious marzipan sweets lined up in people’s kitchens, merriment comes in many shapes and sizes but there’s a solitary Christmas display that stands out from all the rest. And it’s become something of a landmark moment when their lights do come on at the end of each year. The Damian showroom is Bandra’s annual display has become the stuff legends are made of, attracting people from not just all corners of the city, but various other countries, to come stare at it awe-struck with camera phones in hand, so we stepped behind their curtains to speak with the little elves that clearly live there.
From breath-taking, intricate decor to larger-than-life recreations of festive story tales and more, this window of celebration takes great amounts of patience, time, and thought; especially when you consider they change their themes every single year. Turns out there were no little elves (bummer) but partner and designer Mr. Frederick Pereira was more than happy to give us a glimpse either way.
This year’s theme resonates perfectly well with the spirit of Christmas and each display narrates a tale. The one on the extreme left celebrates the birth of baby Jesus with life-size statues of all the manger characters , crafted to perfection. The center window showcases three breathtaking Christmas scenes. Two boys and girls come sledging down a snowy hill wearing cute, vibrant caps. Their excited expressions convey the Christmas merry perfectly. The next display portrays 3 little girls singing carols outside a beautifully decorated house. A jolly snowman stands on the side. A Santa Clause is driving in a bright vintage car to the house with his elves. The one on the extreme right takes us directly inside the house where a grand Christmas tree stands in all his glory. There is a fire burning in the fire place. A baby rocks in a cradle. All displays are lit up with twinkling fairy lights that lends the store a stellar feel, especially from across the street. The 1st floor window reads out Merry Christmas in huge red alphabets.
Mr. Frederick Pereira, the designer behind this entire festive operation, painstakingly decides the theme of the display year after year, and consequently designs it from blueprint to final commissioning, with impeccable attention to detail. He then hires professional teams to undertake the craft work, artwork, costumes and more, ensuring the showroom is as magical as ever. These stellar displays at Damian go through a meticulous process of design, character reference, prototype, and production. The characters are life size with detailed costumes. Everything from props to the characters is created from scratch every year. Nothing is repeated.
He tells us, “When we first had the idea to decorate the window, we started off with smaller things. As the years went by, we noticed how people would travel to come see our display and how it inspired them. This motivated us to go bigger and improve each year. Now when people see how much effort we put into our Christmas displays that are assured of the huge amount of effort we put into our interior design projects and furniture.” We learn how Mr. Pereira’s heart lies in the spirit of Christmas, and he works tirelessly to put smiles on the faces of each person that views his marvelous creation. “The Christmas displays are completely non-commercial. They are our way of giving back to the society,” he adds.
Damian is not only a boutique furniture store but, it also executes large interior design projects on a turnkey basis for residences and offices. Having never repeated a design or theme, each year Damian has something new to show, and the best part is, it magically appears before you. While the elves at Damian work hard to assemble this display over weeks, on November 30 when the store closes, they arrange the showroom overnight. So when the store opens on December 1, it’s all dressed up in enchanting beauty. “We don’t want people to have to see us putting up the decorations, it all happens overnight so one day the display is regular furniture, and the next it’s Christmas,” Mr. Pereira tells us. The Christmas decorations are displayed till January 6th, which is the day of the Three Kings Feast. Scroll on for the dancing lights, enchanting characters, snowy Santa and everything Christmas at Damian’s holiday showroom.
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