Christian Dior Couture Fall 2012 Front Row

The Scene at Raf Simons's Dior Couture Debut

Christian Dior Couture Fall 2012 Front Row

Designers, editors, socialites, and royalty were among those who watched Raf Simons's debut couture show for Christian Dior at a flower-filled Paris mansion Monday. The high turnout seems almost as significant as the garments themselves: Cathy Horyn noted that having such a large number of fellow designers in attendance — the group included legends Pierre Cardin, Azzedine Alaia, Diane von Furstenberg, Alber Elbaz, Riccardo Tisci, Donatella Versace, Marc Jacobs, and Simons's Dior Homme counterpart Kris Van Assche — was "surely a first in fashion."

Anna Wintour and Hamish Bowles were also at the show — Wendi Murdoch sat between them — and so were fellow editors Grace Coddington, Glenda Bailey, Alexandra Shulman, Stefano Tonchi, and Edward Enninful. Emanuelle Alt said she hadn't "been this excited to see a show in a long time. Today I'm going to see something I've never seen before." When Derek Blasberg saw Marion Cotillard, Stella Tennant, and Charlotte Rampling arrive at the show, he observed, "Raf is one popular boy!"

Popular indeed. Bernard Arnault, who owns Christian Dior, attended the show with his daughter Delphine — sat next to Princess Charlene of Monaco — his son Antoine, and Antoine's girlfriend Natalia Vodianova.

Despite favorable reviews and warm accolades in general, the applause at the end of the show was described by some as "lackluster." Simons himself may not have noticed — the designer "only waved for a second and left."