With a stunning set featuring walls carpeted with a million flowers, you might say Raf Simons had the audience for his debut Christian Dior couture show at “hello.”
“It’s unbelievable, I’ve never seen anything like it,” marveled “The Hunger Games” star Jennifer Lawrence, saying her favorite of the five rooms, all decked out in different colors, was the all-white orchid room.
Donatella Versace revealed she has a penchant for freesias, but was nonetheless bowled over by the pink roses and peonies in the Salon Dior. “I’m speechless, it’s so beautiful — very Dior,” said the designer, looking perky despite dancing into the wee hours after her show at the Ritz Paris the previous night.
A galaxy of fellow designers turned out for the most eagerly awaited event of the season: Marc Jacobs, Alber Elbaz, Riccardo Tisci, Azzedine Alaïa, Kris Van Assche, Jean-Louis Scherrer, Pierre Cardin, Olivier Theyskens and Diane von Furstenberg. They were joined by Princess Charlene of Monaco, Sharon Stone, Mélanie Laurent, Isabelle Huppert and Marisa Berenson.
“It smells very nice and it’s very beautiful,” whispered Marion Cotillard as she made her way to her seat, perched on cork wedge heels. Berenson expressed relief that there were no white lilies in the mix, as she is allergic to them. “God, we’d be fainting,” she laughed.
Cardin, who was a key figure at Dior when the house’s founder launched the New Look in 1947, said the decor was a first. “It has never been done. This is a great premiere and it’s a tribute to beauty,” he said. “The florists must be happy. They could not have a better customer!”
Charlotte Rampling took the liberty of plucking some delphinium flowers from the wall of the Salon Bleu. “I think it’s right to do that, because the poor things aren’t going to last long,” she said.
The good mood prevailed after the show, as guests praised the collection. “I thought it was amazing,” said Elbaz. “It was perfection — the music, the flowers, the clothes, the girls, the people, the ambience. There is a lot of very positive ambience here, and I think that everybody wanted Raf to succeed, and he did.”
LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton chairman and chief executive officer Bernard Arnault said he gave Simons a straightforward brief. “I simply told him: ‘It’s Dior, so give us your version, your vision of what Dior is today.’ You have the result. I think it’s fantastic,” he said.
Natalia Vodianova, who is dating Arnault’s son Antoine, described the clothes as young and modern. “I was a little stressed before, because it’s been a very difficult time for the house, and everyone was just really eager to see what Raf would do and very excited about him,” she said. The Russian model added that Simons was wise to send out what she termed a “safe” debut collection. “It’s a very good step, because he can then develop further in the next seasons,” she noted.