A Couture Diary By Christine Chiu

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Haute couture is a fantastical world of brilliant, opulent and magical magnitude. It is an invitation into the minds and souls of the world’s most innovative and acclaimed fashion designers—to experience their vision in a spectacular way. Following the week’s worth of incredible shows, atelier visits, lavish lunches and dinners, galas and after parties, here are some of my favorite moments from the Autumn/Winter 2015/2016 Haute Couture season.

It’s every little girl’s dream come true: a private visit to Madame Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel’s famed and eccentric apartment on 31 Rue Cambon. The glamorous mirrored spiral stairway from the Chanel Haute Couture studio led me to the door and into the heart of Coco Chanel. Inside, the decadent apartment is a treasure trove of objects, furnishings and décor, all of which were the inspiration for and reflection of Chanel. I could have spent hours in the surreal apartment learning about Coco’s fears, curiosities, fascinations and superstitions that are all magnificently manifested in the Chanel we know today.

Karl Lagerfeld, longtime creative director for Fendi Fur, showcased Fendi Haute Fourrure (couture fur) for the very first time on the stage of Theater Champs- Élysées. Perfectly equipped with Fendi binoculars in one hand and champagne in the other, we were seated in private suites to enjoy a theatrical presentation of beautiful and exotic fur gowns and coats. Private cars then whisked us to Musee d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, where the evening carried on with a grand dinner hosted by Pietro Beccari, CEO of Fendi.

Dolce & Gabbana Alta Moda weekend was undeniably enchanting, magical and breathtaking. Against the picturesque backdrop of Portofino, Italy, we wined, dined and danced the weekend away at Ste- fano Gabbana’s private hilltop estate, Domenico Dolce’s palatial home and mystical gardens, 15th Century Castello Brown, and celebrated love, life, family and fashion at the famous discothèque Covo de Nord-Est for the finale ORO (Gold) party, where Kylie Minogue performed for and danced with guests. Dolce & Gabbana custom-designed one-of-a-kind gold dresses, gowns and pieces for each of the guests to wear to this party. Music and fireworks filled the air in Portofino during this unforgettable weekend.

During Paris Haute Couture Week, I was also invited to visit the private atelier of Christian Louboutin. Having met Louboutin on multiple occasions, this was the first time I toured his intimate and exclusive workshop where four artisans work along Louboutin to create extraordinary haute couture shoes, boots, heels and sandals for the world’s wealthiest and most discerning clients. After having my feet measured and custom molds created, I am thrilled forever have the ability to custom-design my own Christian Louboutin shoes—perfectly fit to my feet.

Other memorable events during Haute Couture this season included meeting with über-talented de- signer Alexandre Vauthier backstage following his unbelievably sexy show, and joining lovable chairman/CEO of Louis Vuitton Worldwide, Michael Burke, at his table for an exclusive private dinner at Le Louvre for the National Institute of Jewelry, hosted by the HRH Prince and Princess of Greece.