Monday, 6 June 2016

Opening of the Dior Flagship Maison in Bond Street - Sign of the Retail Times


The Dior flagship store or as the French fashion world refers to this, maison, opened to the public Friday June 3rd in London after a week of flurry of press and VIP events one of which was held in Blenheim Palace.


This was much awaited as Dior is one of the top fashion brands and the location is in one of the biggest cities in the most prestigious shopping street in London.


There was a special art installation hung as chandelier under a mirrored ceiling over a generous bouquet of Chelsea flower show judged peonies enclosed by a limited edition handcrafted bench by another exclusive artist done solely for this flagship maison.

That just rolled off the tongue didn't it?


Peter Marino was the architect of the store.

He is the rock n' roll architect - 
the Yanis Varoufakis of the architect world.

Long gone are the days where his star power would have been enough to attract enough press and buzz...
No more. 

The boutique was filled not only with Dior products but it doubled up as an art gallery.
This chinoiserie wall was all 3d porcelain vignettes done by the artist Beth Katleman.


I will admit I want this for my own home.

But considering I am still waiting now counting week 3.5 for my builder to fix leaks I must reset my home decoration goals.

You must try and see this in person if you are in London.


The new store is two store fronts combined into one.
There was an atrium that housed the new Dior homewares range.
All items are naturally exclusive to the Bond Street store and not available even in the Paris flagship.



It leads to another section that was like a French home with a courtyard.


They had a lily of the valley picnic set.
This is the bedroom showcasing their home linen range.


The wallpaper was exclusive to the store designed by the architects but unfortunately was not for sale.




Even the curtains were exclusive and made soley for the store and yet not available for sale.


I know it's in the details but for me the detail that was most conspicuous was that it was not for sale once again.




I will be honest and admit that I can not remember the name of the artist that produced this limited edition exclusive to the store chandelier in this wing.




( not to be confused the Dior Children haute couture section )

 
These curtains in the childrens wing was very similar to the ones next door at the Chanel flagship due to Peter Marino also being the architect there as well.
The man's contract negotiating skills surpass his architect ones IMHO.


The children's Dior section also does children's accessories and have the kiddie accessory of bags and shoes so the children can be the complete mini me's for their parents.


The decor nodded to traditional children's rooms decor schemes with its bubble gum pink and blue


and the popular cloud ceiling motif above chinoiserie fabric.


Interestingly it was the same motif that the Seoul Dior branch had but with chiseled out wall tiles.


But I saw some thing in Baby Dior I wanted in the Supersize for myself.


Dior now does teddy bears.


But for me what was so interesting was their homeware section.


It is still so new that I didn't feel a cohesive theme but in itself was fun.


The setting was undeniably the dream location and made everything look better in the trellised atrium.


Of course I didn't get too sidetracked and looked at what Dior is essentially known for.


I went to their Couture section and saw up close the incredible detail and workmanship.


It is so intricate that this is just for breathing in and then taking off immediately.

Once again, the room was decorated by one off and exclusive furniture pieces and rugs.


Sometimes you lost track if you were in an art gallery that had a diffusion line of clothes or you were in a furniture store.





This was one of the three couture salons but the other two were already booked by clients.


The salon looked so similar to Chanel's that after all the investment of decor, I thought brand identity was very weak especially considering this day and age.


The shoe collection wasn't the strongest this season but I'm no Suzy Menkes.
Out of all the clothing brands I love Dior the most.


After I left the store, 
I was dizzy with the "exclusive" and "limited edition" nature of everything.

I know we all love the unique nature of things but it seemed even objects now had to have their own DNA.

But the retail evolution is such that we originally bought from stores then to malls then back to boutiques that have turned into their own exclusive mall or turned into a home thereby creating a world that you can buy.

Sorry I can not rewrite that sentence because the convoluted grammatical structure reflects the whole notion.

I really need to rewatch the Truman Show because that movie seems to have forecasted so well what the world has become.

But on a lighter note, you must visit! :)

36 comments:

  1. So interesting. I agree with your comments about retail - it's about the whole experience, and about exclusivity and craftsmanship/ artistry rather than "luxury" as that has proven to be too accessible and everyman now. They are creating a world that the Dior clothing client lives in. I think.
    I have to say though, I didn't like the pink wallpaper! The ombre effect is a bit...meh.
    Also, I once bought a few Baby Dior outfits for E when she was 2. I think those clothes are meant for people who only need their child to wear them once, as they really don't wash up too well. Super cute, but not exactly long lasting (I got them at a closing down sale, so they were in effect 'normal' prices, otherwise there is no way I'd have paid $250 for a tiny skirt and $150 for the matching red and white toile t-shirt).
    As for that embroidery - wow. THat's the essence of Dior right there. Agree with you it's my favourite house as well. x

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    1. Baby Dior is for pictures;)

      The wallpaper was unique but if it was such a feature they should sell it! The only thing on sale was the linens, plates, and trinkets. Not cost efficient in terms of what the clients were asking about which was the furniture, curtains, and wallpaper to be given all that retail square footage. Without the bedroom and atrium though the items in itself wasn't anything I'd put in my wish list. The clothes however are fabulous. The best really. Even their RTW had such details that wouldn't be amiss in couture. Only brand i would lose weight for! X

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  2. That workmanship really is stunning. I've never had many feelings on Dior like I have Gucci, Fendi, or occasionally Versace. But my grandmas loved it and my sister has their collections now. It is so interesting with Dior how many of the things don't look impressive until they are on and that brings them to life. The store (does it hurt them for it to be called that?) does have a vagueness to it but lots of interesting vignettes. I don't think I've been in Dior since New York around the time they had the newsprint stuff and all the Carrie Bradshawesque dresses.

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  3. Thanks for sharing, so luxe!

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  4. New York has a store but I'm sure it will be upgraded to maison to make you feel at home...shopping now seems like cocktail hour and if you ever need a free drink just walk into any luxury store on Bond Street and pretend like you looking for something.

    Dior is rather quiet compared to other brands and still believes in the notion of a waist unlike Coco who designed for her own boxy lean figure. But Dior isn't sexy and understated it doesn't indeed make great photos unlike Gucci which is having its 7th revival and Fendi. The building was fun and just interesting to see where the ever revolving culture is at.

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  5. Great post. Those peonies are weep-worthy, they are so beautiful. I wish you could've found a way to roll up a curtain panel and take it home. Why do they make something that they won't sell? I hear VCA does this too--I've read they have the most adorable clover-shaped cup and saucer that is like the Alhambra line, for exclusive clients, of course, and they will pour you coffee in it while you are shopping, but they don't offer the cups and saucers for sale! How interesting that you like Dior most of all. I probably do too, they are so feminine and wonderful, aren't they, and as you have mentioned above, they do believe in a waistline, right? Ha ha. I certainly wouldn't mind having a glass of bubbly in the Dior boutique! xx

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    1. I need to se this VCA tea set - but I suppose they come out with the diamonds hehe? It's fine if one of the items isn't for sale but when all the unusual items are not for sale then it just seems like a gimmick. They had the sweetest bolero jacket with the buttons like their earrings!!! soo nice and feminine. I would get their earrings but they don't do clips and I don't have pierced ears. x

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  6. Thanks for this virtual tour! So interesting to see how they have expanded into home decor. The embroidery on that dress is exquisite. Have you watched the documentary, "Dior and I"? I have watched it many times over the past year. It is really inspiring to see the atelier staff at work, bringing the sketches to life.

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    1. I love that documemtary so much and wasn't he so intense? So sad he left Dior bc I loved his designs and earnest approach. It seemed like the dream job with huge budgets and yet he didn't stay. Seems like it is far removed from the days of Mr Dior himself. I want to know if that Vietnamese guy in the Dior atelier has some sort of social media account because I loved his light touch! I can't wait for your line Louise

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  7. Last year in St Tropez I had the most wonderful visit to the Dior boutique there, housed in a lovely old villa in its own garden. Absolutely divine and so romantic - particularly the pastel flowers, very similar to the beautiful arrangement you snapped - peonies - and roses and others - in a range of pastel pinks and creams. It was worth visiting for the flowers alone. Also while I'd gone really just to enjoy the ambience, it was all so beautiful and the St Tropez staff so sweet I couldn't resist a lovely pink romantic scarf with roses. They then proceeded to heap my beribboned bag with wonderful echantillons, gorgeous sample bottles (quite large) of their specialist perfume range, like Grand Bal and Granville and New Look, plus other toiletries. It was such a lovely experience I came away in a state of grand euphoria.
    Next time we're in London must certainly pay the new maison a visit. Love the way they press champagne on you in these places. I guess it may open the wallet a little wider. Have been wandering into a few establishments here in Paris. Not enogh money for all my big old eyes are drooling over. Must make some decisions in the next few weeks. All just so expensive - but fingers crossed for the sales in a couple of weeks. Had fun in Sonia Rykiel today draping scarves and shawls and slinging handbags. Bought nothing but they have great hopes of me because I loved some of these things so much. At least they're more affordable than Dior or Chanel - and they're kind of fun. Pammie x

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    1. I suppose it is these experiences that people leave away with that stay with the client and the euphoria is then imprinted into the brand. There was a lot of lily of the valley as apparently it was Dior's lucky flower. I still remember Dior perfume bottles on my mothers vanity and so it has such an impression on me still. I think they press champagne because it not only loosens the purse strings and judgement but it also does lay on the guilt as the client drinks they think they must leave with something after all the time and drink spent on them. There is no free lunch unfortunately! Sonia Rykiel is fun too and you must remember to leave all your goods out so you dont' get caught in the moment Pammie! x

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    2. Had lily of the valley in my wedding bouquet along with white roses, white sweet peas and stephanotis. Probably smelled like a walking flower shop but I thought they were heavenly. Kept away from fashion stores today - galleries and strolls and Ralph Lauren key lime pie (to die for)! Enfin, le soleil! Pammie x

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  8. Yes, yes, yes to those porcelain vignettes, which look breathtaking from your photograph. Oh, and the trellis, of course. Not so sure about the baby couture though. Perhaps for a quick photo, yes, but even the most pedigreed toddler will soon turn their pretty dress into a pretty little mess.

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    1. The porcelain wall was the best bit of the whole store apart from the trellised mirrored atrium. I am not sure about baby couture either - it just is one of those things that make you question if we really are advancing civilisation!

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    1. Yes until the next super store comes round!

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  10. speechless!!!!
    headed to london in september, this is a definite add-on. so, you have me thinking.......should i start marking merchandise in my shop, "not available for purchase", could create a frenzy? probably not
    debra

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    1. Oh you must go into the stores on Bond BC the interiors are now more interesting than the goods they sell!

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  11. The FLOWER Arrangement had my attention!How much for the CHILD's COUTURE?
    I bought those double pearl earrings or TRIBAL as they were called.........NOW I cannot find them!
    I better GO DIG!

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    1. Some kids dress was 2500 pounds so dare not ask about couture! I love those earrings and I still haven't gotten sick of them either

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  12. We are all still close but yet so far away. Here in Knoxville, everyone is anxiously awaiting the arrival of wine in grocery stores. Not sure what we would do with a Dior store. I am also patiently awaiting your ass in the States!

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    1. Do you know my first Waffle House I went to was in Knoxville Forget Dior take me there again!

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  13. What a stunning display. I like the buyable life concept. I visited the Charlotte Moss townhouse in its heyday and it was very cool. You felt like a guest only everything was for sale. When I write it, it sounds yucky and commercial but it was actually quite lovely. I love Dior too. I find they are very ladylike and somehow beyond the reach of Kardashianitis.

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    1. I think it's the original shopping spree where everything is for sale! Dior is just so lovely but gets lost somehow in clothing references

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  14. I like the surreal quality of the Chinoiserie sculpture wall, and the idea is quite steal-able. However, in a house setting I am not sure that it would be safe--I would hate for someone to fall against it!
    --Jim

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    1. It was like those porcelain Asian dolls without shelves. Oddly the Seoul store didn't have this feature. Imagine having to dust the wall though!!

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  15. Ooooh thanks for sharing and for the grand tour because I fear I'll probably never feel comfortable enough to venture in there knowing I'm likely to come out empty handed. It's almost it's own little department store which I guess takes away a little of the exclusivity. Lucky lady you are xx

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    1. Oh don't feel that way BC I think they wNt people to see the art and special features but oddly they didn't have a makeup section whereas Chanel has a lippie counter and it's always crowded! Xx

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  16. How fun that you got to stroll through this beauty! Thank you for all the photos and descriptions. I have a soft spot for Dior, used to work for their parfums department in the office. Such a great place to work, it's fun to see behind the scenes. Being a store owner myself, my first thought of the new Dior store was 'what did all that cost???' Haha, I'm such a spreadsheet-toting numbers girl. But for companies like Dior, these stores aren't meant to own their keep, it's all part of the advertising budget I'm sure.

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    1. Oh I do love the bottles! I'm sure the figures were somewhere but there were so many linked events that the figure must be astronomical. They did a lot of cross marketing. I think they are hoping for a quick recoup and judging by the fact the two couture rooms were booked they might be on the right track!

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  17. I love how you feature places such as these; it gives me the ability to "see" all the prettiness without having to travel so far! That chinoiserie wall is gorgeous!

    I own a classic Dior Black jacket that is magical. Every time I have worn it around my daughter she insists on trying it on (we are close to the same size) Alas, it never quite reveals the magical fashion power on her the way it does for me. It is hilarious as this has been going on for at least a decade- "can I try that on?sure!...hmph!" etc. I will probably pass it on to her through my will; hopefully a granddaughter can wear it someday :D

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    1. I don't have anything Dior which is odd BC I love it!! I can imagine a black jacket being a fab staple and it being fought over. I hope it is worn for many generations to come Janice!

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