SHANGHAI — Christian Dior reprised its spring couture show here over the weekend as it opened the doors of an exhibition of French photojournalist Gérard Uféras’ pictures documenting the work behind the collection.
On Saturday, some 300 made their way to the Bund-side House of Roosevelt to take in some of China’s top models, including Liu Wen and Emma Pei, stomping down a silver catwalk to a soundtrack of Lana Del Rey. Other VIP guests included Zhang Ziyi, Ni Ni, Guo Jingjing and Michelle Reis.
Dior president and chief executive officer Sidney Toledano said it was logical to bring the show to China as many couture buyers hail from the country.
“Two years ago we had an event on the Bund and showed mainly pieces from the cruise collection, but we decided to include a selection of eight haute couture looks and the response was amazing, so we knew we had to come back again to show the entire haute couture collection,” Toledano said.
The Dior contingent that descended on China’s financial capital late last week included around 30 atelier staff who were booked for appointments with Chinese clients for the days after the show itself.
Dior was an early entrant into the Chinese market — opening its first Beijing store in 1997 — but Toledano said the country’s rise to the world’s most promising market for couture has been unexpected by many in the industry, himself included.
“Back then, people were asking what we were going to sell in China, maybe lipsticks or key chains, but very quickly it was apparent that the real desire and demand was for the highest quality, ready-to-wear was embraced very quickly and now the top of the pyramid of Chinese consumers are already moving beyond that to haute couture,” Toledano said.
The Uféras photo exhibition provided a behind-the-scenes peek at daily life in Dior’s Avenue Montaigne atelier. Uféras said he was confident the Chinese audience would appreciate the uniquely French storytelling of the exhibition, which gives context to the process behind the collection.
“I think I have a certain way of taking pictures that is really French, with an idea of elegance, so maybe these points are close to what Dior represents,” Uféras said. “For me, the idea of the woman and the idea of the dress that I tried to express in my pictures is very close to the idea Monsieur Dior had about women and about elegance.”
Bill Gaytten’s second and final couture collection for Dior featured Fifties-style silhouettes, sheer skirts and delicate bead work. A particularly warm round of applause was reserved for the outgoing interim designer when he came out to take a short bow at the show’s close. After an exhaustive search, Christian Dior last week announced the appointment of Raf Simons as the brand’s new artistic director.
Harrods plans to remove the famous statue of Princess Diana and Dodi Al Fayed from the bottom of the Egyptian escalators and hand it back to Mohamed Al-Fayed. “We are very proud to have played our role in celebrating the lives of Diana, Princess of Wales and Dodi Al Fayed at Harrods and to have welcomed people from around the world to visit the memorial for the past 20 years,” said Michael Ward, Harrods managing director. “With the announcement of the new official memorial statue to Diana, Princess of Wales at Kensington Palace, we feel that the time is right to return this memorial to Mr. Al Fayed and for the public to be invited to pay their respects at the palace.” More on the news, with reporting by @loreleimarfil, at WWD.com. #wwdnews
@prada is introducing a new project at its men’s fall 2018 show this Sunday: “Prada Invites.” The fashion house invited four celebrated creative minds – @ronanaerwanbouroullec, Konstantin Grcic, @herzogdemeuron and @rem.koolhaas – to each create a unique item with its iconic nylon material. The designs will be unveiled on the runway show, which will take place at the company’s warehouse in Viale Ortles 25. #wwdfashion #mfwm (📷: @martinocarrera)
@kering_official is spinning off its stake in puma in an effort to focus on its luxury brands, the brand operator announced yesterday. “We are proud to have supported the turnaround of Puma, which now has unrivaled capabilities to take full advantage of the specific dynamics of its global markets and is poised to achieve substantial growth,” said François-Henri Pinault, Kering’s chief executive officer and chairman. Artémis will become a “long-term strategic shareholder” of Puma with a 29 percent stake. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
The fashion world mourns for celebrated street style photographer, Nabile Quenum, who died at age 32 in Paris.
Quenum, creator of the fashion blog “J’ai Perdu Ma Veste,” was a fashion week fixture, and regularly shot for New York magazine’s The Cut, among other outlets, and brands such as Louis Vuitton, Moncler and Adidas. He was also actively involved in the #NoFreePhotos initiative, which kicked off in the fall. Read more about Quenum in @kbsmoke's story on WWD.com. #wwdnews
@verwanggang and @maisonladuree have teamed up on a dessert collab called Vera Wang Pour Ladurée. The collection, which launched this week, features a specialty macaroon, as well as a wedding cake inspired by one of the designer’s gowns. “I could not imagine a more delicate or sophisticated creation to grace any couple’s celebration,” said Wang. #wwdfashion