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Fashion Week kicked off a little early with a luncheon at Bergdorf Goodman’s BG restaurant on Tuesday to celebrate Dior’s spring collection, which just arrived at the store.

Delphine Arnault-Gancia was in town to act as hostess and her presence was enough to draw an overwhelming response from top-tier Bergdorf clients, who flocked to the 7th-floor eatery. (One source said the past year’s events at the store have had a lethargic response, but not this one — some women even came armed with advertisements of the looks they wanted to order, recession-be-damned).

This story first appeared in the February 14, 2009 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

“We wanted to meet our customers,” said Arnault-Gancia of the event, which harked back to salon presentations of bygone eras.

Meanwhile, Jamee Gregory, fresh off Allison Stern’s boat after a girls-only trip, was viewing the lunch as a reintroduction to the New York swirl. Fellow guests Julia Restoin-Roitfeld, herself back from a stint in London, Tinsley Mortimer, Olivia Chantecaille and Fabiola Beracasa sat down to plates of lobster salad, before Jim Gold introduced Arnault-Gancia.

“Did I get that right?” he joked after saying her last name.

As for the Dior exec, she told the story of how Christian Dior’s mother had said she would support him in everything he did, “But ‘never put your name on a shop,’” she explained to the chuckling crowd.

Perhaps his mother wasn’t thinking that sixty years later, women would be practically attacking the rack of runway looks that was brought down to the 2nd floor Dior area afterwards, despite the 4 and 5-figure price tags.

Among the shoppers, many couldn’t help but notice, reality star Jill Zarin of “Real Housewives” fame, who picked up a Lady Dior bag, which was then monogrammed on-site.

Maybe Dior should give some tips to President Obama for his stimulus bill, or at least a nice leather binder to present it in?


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