It begins in October with a slight feeling of exasperation. The flaneur is suddenly seeing the same in every shop window he passes. Something that seems out of place so early in the year: Christmas.
Outside, the colourful leaves are still falling from the trees, while red, green and gold are already making an appearance inside the stores. And the flaneur starts to ponder. Questions pop into his head like: Isn’t it a bit early? Do we always have to have these kinds of decorations? Why can’t Christmas be different, isn’t there another way of looking at it?
Perhaps this is possible if we explore the nature of giving gifts. What the dictionary very matter-of-factly defines as “a voluntary transfer of property from one individual to another, made gratuitously to the recipient”, actually means a whole lot more to us as individuals. It’s about making the people you love happy. After all, you’re not just giving them any old thing, but something that you have chosen to suit them and their personality. Something special. But the art of giving gifts isn’t just a way of expressing affection; it’s about making an effort for the recipient. Which is why it goes beyond the actual gift itself: a good gift is also perfectly wrapped and presented.
This idea became a starting point for Bikini Berlin’s festive brainstorming: the gift-givers have already shopped their gifts – what they need now is the perfect wrapping paper to wrap them up in. And so the idea of presenting our customers with a new wrapping paper design every Christmas was born.
For this year’s debut, we asked Berlin artist duo Stills & Strokes to design three spectacularly eye-catching wrapping papers. But you’ll be looking for traditional designs in vain. There are no Santa suits, white beards, sleighs or reindeers in sight here. Inspired by American pop-art icons like Anselm Reyle and Jeff Koons, the glossy surface is another of the paper’s highlights.
The poppy designs take on somewhat of a poster function and enter into a dialogue with the shoppers and passers-by. By the time they come to wrap their purchases at the latest. At the central gift-wrapping station, visitors can give their gifts a personal touch by wrapping them themselves – or have them professionally wrapped for them. Children have their own area to get creative in: their very own wrapping table.
And the flaneur? With a sense of satisfaction, he smiles to himself. At Bikini Berlin, the festive decorations aren’t just decorative. There are still people out there who think outside the box and go beyond the norm. And so, yes, it is possible to rethink Christmas after all.