Designer Christmas Trees

Charity initiative/auction in aid of the Foundation (8 December 2009 & 1 December 2010)

In Marie-Christiane Marek’s ‘Designer Christmas Tree’ project, major names in the worlds of fashion, design and architecture are invited to design their own versions of the famed Christmas tree, to be sold in aid of humanitarian causes. Since 1996, the ex-presenter of Paris Première TV’s Paris Mode programme has called on contributions from the likes of Stella McCartney, Jean Paul Gaultier and Marc Jacobs. Particularly memorable was the Marithe + tree by Francois Girbault, which in the 2007 season garnered €4,000 for the association Sol en Si out of a total of €30,000 raised. Two years ago, for the fourteenth edition of Designer Christmas Tree, sixty artists and retailers responded to the charity’s invitation. From 9 to 14 December 2009, their works were exhibited at the Architecture and Heritage Centre in the Place du Trocadero in Paris.  The presentation took place on on December 8. That Christmas, the brand new designer trees blended in perfectly against the backdrop of the centre’s galleries with their replica casts of doors from Romanesque abbey and Gothic churches.  From the white-feathered tree by Jean Paul Gaultier and Paco Rabanne’s interpretation with its metallic mirrors to Gucci’s gold and chocolate-coloured concoction or indeed the designs by Stella McCartney, Jean-Charles de Castelbajac, D Squared 2, Ora Ito, Louis Vuitton, Sonia Rykiel and Thierry Mugler, each of the creations, whilst remaining truly original, bore the instantly recognisable stamp of its designer. The auction began at 9 p.m. with proceeds going to the Carla Bruni-Sarkozy Foundation on behalf of the Enfant@l’hôpital association.  Founded in 1986, the association’s mission is to provide computer equipment and support to sick children and their relatives in order so that they can continue attending school.  Enfant@l’hôpital was one of the three children’s associations which Carla Bruni-Sarkozy had supported by donating  royalties from her first 2008 album Comme si de rien n’était.