Last night, Dior staged the first Haute Couture show in China. The collection, the décor, the ambiance – everything was perfect.
We are in China, the city: Shanghai. The building sounds American: The House of Roosevelt (named for Tweed Roosevelt, the great-grandson of Theodore and nephew of Franklin Delano). But the soirée is completely Parisian. Even better, it’s Montaigne-esque, because up on the building’s 5th floor, an entire microcosm has been recreated. For those who know 30 avenue Montaigne, the resemblance is so striking it’s as if, by magic, Christian Dior had returned to mingle among us, he would have thought he was in his own salons, in Paris, at home in his Haute Couture House. Everything was in its place: The Napoleon III chairs, gray walls with white moldings, 18th-century consoles. For this first Dior Haute Couture show in China, it wasn’t just the collection that traveled, nor simply the décor, but the whole ambiance of the house – the very spirit of the place. Journalists and VIPs who had attended the show in Paris last January 24th (see our previous post 2012-1947: now, then & back again ) were astounded. Luxury lives in the tiniest of details – even the floral compositions were the same.
At the end of the show, on the roof of The House of Roosevelt, there was a cocktail: once again we were in China, with a breathtaking view over the Huangpu river, particularly at the spot where it bends, the “bund”. In the distance of only three floors, we passed from Paris to Shanghai. Natalia Vodianova looked diving in a Dior dress. Michele Reis, the superstar actress, has just finished a photo shoot for the Chinese edition of Madame Figaro in which she wears almost all the gowns in the collection. Chinese celebrities Zang Ziyi, Zang Huan and Ni Ni among others drew huge crowds. The celebrated artist Zang Huan marveled at the show he just saw and the honor Dior has done to his country. Top model Daphné Gruenwald dreamed of wearing the princess dress that closed the show: the bride wore red, the traditional color for Chinese brides. As with every Haute Couture show, clients were also on hand to celebrate, their appointments already booked to come and try on the dresses in the days to come in Shanghai. A sextet performed a live concert of Brahms and Vivaldi. The guests, whether from Shanghai or Europe, were delighted. It was a delicious, magical evening.
That’s Haute Couture! That’s Paris. And that is Dior.