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It’s not every day that you see a rouge tressed woman with Winter berries, floating nightingales and toy nutcrackers blossoming from her hair. Yet Olaf Hajek is known for just this style of rich and fantastical imagery. So when luxury German department store Breuninger looked to sprinkle some yuletide magic, Olaf’s illustrations became a dreamy fit.
Olaf’s work usually takes flight from the realm of myths, mystery and reverie. Weaving intricate details into surreal scenes, Olaf conjures narratives where nothing is what it seems and everything is possible. Scenes beckon for closer inspection as organic forms, flora and fauna intrigue and delight. For this project, Olaf was commissioned to embellish the exterior, street-walls of Breuninger. The result? A wondrous lady, accessorised by a bursting mane of exciting objects and joyful creatures, gazes out from the store in a blaze of royal tones. Just like the alluring array of gifts and treasures brimming inside the Breuninger shop floor, Olaf’s lady captures the gaze and demands a second look.
Covering the perimeter of an entire two sides of Breuninger, the uplifting jubilation of the scene certainly adds a festive spring to the step of passers by. Olaf’s Christmas lady symbolises the joyful spirit and mesmerising attraction of Breuninger. Therefore naturally it made sense for them to also champion his illustrations on their e-store. Here, a vivid close up of the original image forms an impelling advent calendar for shoppers to experience the Christmas merriment online. After clicking on each calendar date, users see a selection of Breuninger’s daily gift recommendations illuminated by Olaf’s vibrant Poinsettia and a drumming soldier-boy. With Olaf’s dreamy visions channelling the Festive spirit both in reality and digitally, it seems a very merry Christmas can be had by one and all.