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THIS MONTH:
Hollywood A List Parties



By Timothy Hagy

Saturdays at the Dior flagship store on Avenue Montaigne are always exotic. A fascinating blend of the rich and famous, the fashion conscious, the young and restless, all tread the hallways together.

In the two cashier's offices, historic prints of Christian Dior with Rita Hayworth and Ava Gardner, Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall side by side at a catwalk show, peer down upon the seemingly endless stream of shoppers lining up with purchases. It's no wonder that the yearly revenue generated by Christian Dior couture alone represents a sum largely than the entire earnings of PPR, including the Gucci Group.

This week, Bernard Arnault and his glamorous wife Hélène dropped into the Dior Homme section unannounced, briefly mingling with the young, international assortment of fashionistas. Looking strangely defenseless without the flotilla of security guards and paparazzi that trace their every move at each Dior fashion event, the couple soon disappeared through a double door leading deeper into the gigantic labyrinth of the Avenue Montaigne store.

Two steps further, you would find the perfume department, where bottles of the newest Dior Homme fragrance, Higher Energy, were already being snapped up, even before the official launch party in Frankfurt-am-Maine, September 16. The first in a series of new perfumes to appear since Hedi took over the fragrance division in July, Higher Energy is scheduled to officially be unveiled atop a state-of-the-art German skyscraper. A gala party, bubbling with champagne and garnished with hors d'oeuvres, will be accompanied by House music.

But why wait?

The second in the series of Higher creations is sensuously citric, with highlights of grapefruit and juniper noticeable in the bouquet. The scent is airily light - a cool new take on an imposing tradition. The first men's fragrance, Eau Savage launched a half century ago, was a particular favorite of Marlene Dietrich.

Packaged in a clear bottle topped with polished chrome, and engraved with the CD logo, the liquid is greenish gold in color, almost identical to say, a young Sauvignon Blanc. Sleek and elegant, the presentation fits the new image of the label under the direction of its star designer.

In addition to the fragrance, a complete cosmetic line includes a Body Wash and Shampoo, After Shave Lotion and Deodorant.

Higher Energy is destined to become high powered, be that artistically, commercially, or both.