The first time I met Peter Marino I was struck by the juxtaposition of his black leather clad figure amid the refined elegance of Chanel’s Boston Flagship. From this came that? I thought to myself without letting the thought slip through my lips, even if it would likely be goggled up by the cicadasian roar of guests. Curated from the Boston crowd for their allegiance to the brand, ability to influence, their press pass or celebrity status. Not me of course, I was a plus one, and happy to have the invitation without distinction.
There is something to be said for anonymity. It allows you to wonder, listen in, even approach and ask questions. You have nothing to lose and they won’t remember you one way or another after the last of the crystal coups are cleared. I took my chance and approached stealthily. Mr. Marino I asked with awe and trepidation. I couldn’t tell whether or not he was looking at me through his dark sunglasses and his head didn’t incline in my direction. That might have encouraged me unnecessarily. I forged on nonetheless, my desire to know about the rock crystal chandeliers defying gravity with their weight and solidity. A frail matron able to raise the hand adorned with a 12 carat stone.
It was that moment that I understood from whence genius comes and not to judge a book by its cover. He’s done it again with Dior, and I want more. The Flagship that started it all on Rue Montaigne in Paris underwent its third reinvention sprinkled as it was with Peter’s fairy dust. 108,000SF, so much more than a store, it is a museum, offering the only collection entirely dedicated to Fashion in France – having attended an exhibit a few years ago I can assure you there is a history, artistry, miniature monuments to masterful design – over 1500 of them, paper patterns, muslin mock-ups, and gorgeous full sized gown, after gown. It is an education in patience, beauty, pursuit of perfection, one stitch at a time.
Rue Montaigne houses so much more. Christian Dior’s office has been reassembled here. A restaurant – Monsieur Dior, Haute Couture and Jewelry Workshops, three gardens, and the keys to the palace in the form of hotel room, butlers and all. Wander the museum, host a dinner for four, the place is yours for 24 hours or as long as your credit card swipes approved.