Champagne, hors d’oeuvres and couture.
That was the magical scene at the Christian Dior boutique on Rodeo Drive this week. I was invited to preview the newly renovated space before it reopened on Thursday. And let me just say, it is stunning. Taking inspiration from the French couturier's iconic Paris flagship boutique at 30, Avenue Montaigne, the look is high glamour meets modern sophistication. It includes five salons – complete with objets d’art and plenty of Dior’s signature gray. Guests can feel at home while they shop surrounded by the incredibly chic interior. Handbags, shoes and clothing are each housed in their own salons and a special sanctum houses the fine jewelry showcased in mini fassauds. The ready-to-wear salon is designed to resemble a Paris apartment complete with a fireplace and pictures on the mantle. Throughout the store there are exquisite touches of refinement - floral bouquets, chairs delicately trimmed with feathers and a couch made from nickels - tres, tres chic. Over 20 artists were commissioned to develop work for the boutique as per Peter Marino, the architect who designed the space. Christian Dior’s first job was as the owner of an art gallery, so art is very much a part of the Dior DNA. And marrying fashion and art was a natural fit at the Beverly Hills flagship where art is so much a part of the culture. An iridescent ceiling installation titled “Cosmic” was designed by artist Rob Wynne to resemble a constellation. The piece, which is made from hand-poured glass, covers the ceiling in the accessory salon and pays homage to Dior’s passion for stars and astrology. A stunning coffee table filled with porcelain Dior handbags and boots took center stage in the shoe salon. I became obsessed with taking photos of the piece by Liu Jian Hua. Interestingly, it is the only art work which references the product. A beautiful tapestry by artist Pae White, a soft, iridescent glass installation by Jeff Zimmerman and a circular ginko bench by Claude Lalanne are just a few other highlights. Along with the artwork, of course, are the fabulous clothes, jewelry and accessories which line the racks and are on view via a video installation. A private salon upstairs will be perfect for catering to Dior's many high profile celeb clients who attend Hollywood’s red carpet events. Here's a glimpse of the boutique and some of my favorite finds. But I recommend a visit to Rodeo Drive to truly appreciate the beauty of the new store and, of course.... to shop. More photos after the break.