Couture diary: Armani Privé’s goblet of fire, Dior’s jewelled minatures and perusing the fine details at Coco Chanel’s apartment

Chanel
Chanel
Chanel
Chanel

Sophia Loren, Jodie Foster and Olivia Wilde squeezed into an empty shop in the corner of the Place Vendome to take in the Armani Privé spring 2011 couture collection, which looked as if it had been poured out of a flaming goblet. The molten fabrics in silver and jewel tones were sculpturally cut, with stiff little peplums or spliced openings across the hips. Imagine a liquefied suit of armour topped with lacquered dinner plate hats. It was all very futuristic Cardin-meets-Lady Gaga.

Jodie Foster
Jodie Foster at Armani Privé

From there it was on to Christian Dior’s new jewellery salon just a few steps away. The two-story shop is now chopped up into cozy little rooms offering the privacy needed as one shops for Victoire de Castellane’s fantastical jewellery designs. Diamond skull pendants, coral sea fantasies and rings that resemble floral bouquets are showcased in dioramas. How fitting. Hovering over it all – a canvas of butterflies drowning in silver paint by Damien Hirst.

Christian Dior
Christian Dior

Earlier in the evening, I was invited to Coco Chanel’s apartment over the Rue Cambon shop. Mademoiselle never actually slept here – that she did across the street at The Ritz Hotel. But this was her refuge to smoke, entertain friends and escape the stresses of her boutique.

Scattered around the antique-filled rooms were mannequins dressed in decorative pieces from Chanel’s Metier d’Arts pre-fall collection. Metier d’Arts offers the handcrafting of couture but is not made to measure, so it can be sold in Chanel boutiques such as those in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto and Montreal.

Chanel
Chanel
Chanel
Chanel

There were gold-embroidered coats, purses with fine chain fringes, and bejewelled jackets. Afterwards, I wandered into the boutique below and found an entire room of fall/winter clothes at 50 per cent off. Had to dash but put it on the agenda for tomorrow!