One Dior opens

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 11 January, 2004, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 11 January, 2004, 12:00am

Shopaholics should move to Tokyo, where Christian Dior opened an enormous flagship store last month in the Japanese capital's hottest shopping area, Omotesando. Dior's unveiling follows spectacular openings by Prada and Hermes in Tokyo, where luxury companies pour huge sums into what are effectively their Asian flagships. The Dior opening was a major event, attracting more than 1,000 people. Like Dior's creative department, the store is a contrast in styles between the baroque exuberance of women's creative director, John Galliano, and the graphic black-and-white aesthetic of the men's creative director, Hedi Slimane. The overall design of the four-floor, glass and acrylic, 11,000-square-foot store, Dior's largest in the world, is by Japanese architect Kazuyo Sejima. However, Peter Marino designed the first two floors, where women's products are sold. The American architect used the same approach he employed in his acclaimed re-vamp of Dior's Paris flagship on Avenue Montaigne, giving the Japanese incarnation a mixture of old and new, such as French mouldings and flat-screen TVs. The basement men's department, overseen by Slimane, boasts a black lacquer stairway, arrhythmic bands of Dior plisse and linear lighting strips. His insistence that fashion retailing space be married with art is evident in the interactive architecture, which incorporates music and light. Dior Homme plans to roll out a New York flagship this month, again letting loose an artist - Ugo Rondinone - on the fitting rooms, and a new Paris store in summer. A freestanding, Hong Kong outpost in The Landmark will open this year.