Monday 16 April 2012

Night Falls Over Shanghai - Dior Haute Couture

For the first time ever, on Saturday 14th April 2012, an Haute Couture collection was presented in Shanghai - DIOR - 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 my previous post  ('Haute Couture | X-ray Vision by Christian Dior') 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 ambiance and décor of the Dior salons in Paris were recreated down to the last detail for the Haute Couture show in Shanghai. Here is how Christian Dior described them in 1956: 

"I strove to create for my house a home in the style and colors of my childhood years in Paris, which nonetheless was adapted to the climate of a couture house. I am speaking of neo-Louis XVI, white woodwork, white lacquered furniture, shades of gray, beveled glass-paned doors and the bronze wall lamps with small lampshades that reigned from 1900 to 1914 in “new” buildings in the neighborhood of Passy. Its invisible elegance survives in the salons of the Ritz and Plaza hotels. It’s sober, simple but not dry, and above all so classic and Parisian that there is no way this style could detract or divert the eye from the collection. It was important to me that my couture house not be an exceptional place in the theatrical sense; I am showing dresses, not decoration.

Therefore, it was a matter of creating in this charming mansion on the Avenue Montaigne a decorated, but not decorative, atmosphere befitting both my tastes and my project. Where to find the decorator who in 1946 would be capable of understanding my dream and translating it without exceeding my modest budget? Victor Grandpierre had the right tradition; he was just the man I needed. Everything I desired more or less vaguely, he achieved. Our tastes harmonized wonderfully in the mutual search for our childhood paradises."

Selections by ANDREA JANKE Finest Accessories

Photo Credits/Source: DIOR

Enjoy my previous post - 

1 comment:

Shagun said...

A beautiful, fairytale couture by Dior.The salon in Shanghai is very Parisian. Soft & elegant decor.Girls look gorgeous.Fabulous photos, dear Andrea!!!

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