It's safe to say that Raf Simons's very-first show as the new creative director of Dior was the biggest fashion event of the year. (Hedi Slimane's first show for YSL would offer some competition, but press aren't invited to his first two shows, so his official "debut" won't be nearly as climactic.) Anyway, Simons lived up to the hype, and immediate reactions to his collection have been positive. The show was set in a series of five private salons with walls entirely blanketed in different types of flowers — a million of them, according to Dior's Twitter feed — supposedly inspiring Anna Wintour to marvel aloud to Grace Coddington, "Isn't this amazing?" Models threaded between the different rooms in structured ball gowns, cigarette pants, floral embroidery, and strapless bustiers, their mouths lacquered in red lipstick and hair parted primly down the center.
We'll have more on the clothes in a bit, but in the meantime, the show's shmancy guest list merits some gawking. In keeping with all the hype, this was definitely the most sought-after fashion invitation of Couture Week. Not only was the place crawling with actresses like Sharon Stone, Jennifer Lawrence, and Marion Cotillard, but the front row looked like a high fashion designers' convention. The live-stream on Dior's website showed an overheated Riccardo Tisci fanning himself with show notes, while Lanvin's Alber Elbaz posed for pictures wearing tennis shoes and an adorably crooked tie. Other attendees included Donatella Versace with her daughter, Allegra; Anna Wintour and her daughter, Bee Shaffer; Marc Jacobs; Olivier Theyskens; Azzedine Alaïa, and many more. See our slideshow of all the guests; we'll post a full gallery of all of the show's looks shortly.