Upon entering either the new Dior women’s or adjoining Dior Homme boutiques at the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver, immediately noticeable is a high level of curation, immersive white and silver, a fine balance of exquisite offerings and plenty of space for them to breathe. Dior Couture is, after all, an equilibrium of the refined and the extroverted, paying homage to traditional luxury and artistry while adamantly pursuing innovation.
The Vancouver location is the largest in North America, and the first stand-alone Dior boutique in all of Canada. It was, it seems, only a matter of time until the two joined in this way. “Canada is an important luxury market because of its steady economic growth and growing numbers of younger affluent customers,” says Pamela Baxter, president of Christian Dior Couture, North America. “The Vancouver luxury market in particular has heated up with new stores opening as well as renovations of existing stores.” Dior has long been available in Canada at Holt Renfrew, but the independent boutique offers an intensified and immersive shopping experience. Modelled after the original concept of the Peter Marino-designed Paris Avenue Montaigne flagship, the two-level Vancouver space offers women’s bags, jewellery, shoes, ready-to-wear, and eveningwear. It was additionally important, however, to include Dior’s products for men. “Young men in particular have become more fashion focused in the last few years,” says Baxter. “They are all highly educated, fashion forward, and demanding of excellence in the products they choose. Quality and craftsmanship are at the top of their expectations.”
Quality and craftsmanship reign absolute at Dior in Vancouver, an impressive compilation of Parisian roots and modern intricacies. The staircase leading from one floor to the other is quite striking, and behind it stands an eye-catching video wall by artist Yoram. The marble and bronze antique fireplace is reason alone to sit in the evening salon, but the rest of the boutique is a pleasurable hunt for exquisite design, too, with a Bishop stool by India Mahdavi, a Christopher Schanck bench, a cocktail table of stainless steel and quartz by Damian Garrido, cosmic ceiling glass and glass text by Rob Wynne, and a Fillo table by Alexander Lamont. The voice and vision of Dior himself is ever present, particularly in the jewellery salon, which features his Aquarius sign.
The boutiques offer a sense of grace and intrigue in their design and specialty, allowing the opulence to expand and contract. As much as we see, there is more, still, beating under the streets, across the ocean, all the way back to Paris, to Dior’s early days running an art gallery; it’s the beating heart, the clinking glass, the communication of a thousand words with a single stare.
Dior, 900 West Georgia Street, Vancouver, British Columbia, V6C 2W6 Canada, 604-891-1810.