The Christian Dior store at South Coast Plaza celebrated its grand reopening Wednesday night complete with flowing Champagne, models in the designer's latest dresses and an appearance byactress Eva Mendes, who's been photographed on several occasions with a camel colored Dior Libertine Hobo bag slung over her shoulder.
The store location may be the same, cater-cornered from Hermes in the Costa Mesa uber-mall, but the interior has undergone a complete facelift. The space was gutted and then remodeled for three months to create separate salons for ready-to-wear shoes, fine jewelry and watches.
Three million dollars worth of jewelry was brought into the store for the opening. The new jewelry salon features men's and women's watches, and an array of costume jewelry such as chunky gold necklaces and bracelets as well as fine, dainty earrings and rings.
The Dior baby section was moved out to make room for a shoe salon that doubled the store's previous selection of patent leather pumps and peep-toe heels.
The space is extremely well-lighted and practically sparkles as the lights glisten off the large silver Ds that adorn the handbags. Some of the once stark, white walls are now a dark shade of gray, and the shiny white floors give way to subtle gray carpet in the clothing salons at the rear of the store.
It was easy to notice the small, elegant details. Each shelf of sunglasses and plush leather bags is lined with gray, raw silk, and ornate carvings create a unique molding along the ceiling.
The store's appearance and atmosphere were modeled after the original House of Dior on Avenue Montaigne in Paris, which opened in 1946. Customers at the South Coast Plaza location are greeted at the door with a polite "Welcome to the house of Dior," or "Bonjour madame, welcome to the universe of Dior." There is no confusing the two locations, but the Orange County version of the original is still pretty glamorous.
-- Jenn Harris Top photo: Guests mingle at the store opening.
Credit: Jenn Harris Middle photo: A selection of jewelry from the store's new collection.
Credit: Jenn Harris Bottom photo: A patent leather pink peep-toe heel from the new shoe salon. Credit: Jenn Harris