GRAND OPENING – Christian Dior Taipei 101 Tower Opening Event

on March 24th 2012 

Reaching 508 meters, the Taipei 101 was, for four years, the world’s tallest building. One of the most recognizable, too, thanks to its structure that recalls a pagoda roof. Inside: the boutique. In the windows, the most recent haute couture collection captures the limelight, set before large colored panels carved to mimic the models they back. In the store itself, neutral tones let the collections take the starring role: the leather goods and their fearless colors, the refined timepieces settings. Subtle touches of gold leaf add a warmly modern touch to the precision black and white Dior Homme spaces.

Shoes, ready-to-wear, eveningwear, VIP dressing rooms: the salons are as much intimate spaces as they are public ones, playing on tones of gray in turns deep and light. What’s offered turns out to be a veritable journey, a voyage of awakening that becomes even more so as one discovers the art along the way, specially created for the store: a Chinese woodblock covered in gold leaves by Claude Lalanne here, a Véronique Rivemale mirror there, a video installation by Oyoram on the stairway, an Elisabeth Garouste table somewhere else. The monumental staircase is an experience in itself. A wall of images recalls the rotunda of the Avenue Montaigne store in Paris, projected images of Mr. Dior and of Paris emerging as constants in the vaporous passing of time. Where are we? When are we? In Taipei, unquestionably. But in Paris, too. In any case, unmistakably chez Dior.

Marking the opening March 24th, 2012, of the Christian Dior store in Taipei, a look back at the décor of these historic spaces: In 1946, when Christian Dior decided to open his own couture house, he called upon Victor Grandpierre to transform the interior of the mansion at 30, avenue Montaigne. The two men had met in Cannes, a few years before, and they shared the same passion for the Belle Epoque: the years surrounding the turn of the last century. “Our tastes gelled perfectly in the shared quest for our childhood paradise”, Christian Dior explained in his memoirs. The timing was extremely short, with only a few weeks remaining before the inaugural show of the house of Dior on February 12, 1947. “White woodwork, lacquered white furniture, gray drapes, doors of beveled glass panes, bronze sconces…” – the décor was chic, classic, almost neutral. In reality, it was actually the perfect, distraction-free backdrop to give center stage to the fashions the couturier was preparing to unveil.

What better than gray and white to set off fiery reds, floral prints, and dense embroideries? To make the impressive volume of the dresses appear even more so necessitated a décor of refined purity. That’s how Victor Grandpierre conceived of the haute couture salons: as a jewel box. He was also responsible for designing the small boutique, and the white Dior boxes that still remain the same color today. Next it was the turn of the suite bearing the couturier’s name at the Plaza in New York, then another boutique in Caracas… And, in 1955, came the opening of the big Paris store, adjacent to the historic salons. “In a few days, Victor Grandpierre had created in the new space a boutique that was Louis XVI, Belle Epoque, and very 1955”, Christian Dior stated. In other words: a synthesis of nearly two centuries of decoration in France! “And conforming on all fronts to what I desired”, he added. These days it’s Peter Marino who creates the house’s stores. On Monday, in this magazine, you’ll be able to discover the Taipei one.

By ANDREA JANKE @andreajanke

1 Comment

  1. I wanted to thank you for this good read!! I certainly loved every bit of
    it. I have you book marked to look at new stuff you post…

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