EVENTS

What It Was Like to Stay in the Ultra-Exclusive La Suite Dior in Paris for The First Time

La Suite Dior Experience

For the last decade, I’ve dreamed of attending Paris Fashion Week. But, the truth is… I put the dream aside as it felt totally unattainable. I thought to myself, “I’m not a major influencer. I don’t have millions of followers. I’m also 48 years old.” Most of the influencers that attend shows are MUCH younger, slimmer, prettier, etc. (Yes, some major imposter syndrome creeped in.) 

About six months ago, I decided that now is the time…I’m doing it! I booked the flight and hotel to Paris during the fashion week window, but I had NO clue how I would get into a show. All the design houses/brands have to approve each attendee. And after they approve the guest, they send non-transferable, hand-written invitations. In other words, it’s hard to get in. I hired a travel designer to help me. I found her serendipitously through an entrepreneur group I’m in…and full disclosure, I had NO clue what a “travel designer” even was. She said she would try to help, but made no guarantees.

TWO days before I was scheduled to fly to Paris, the offer came in to attend a fashion show…and not just any fashion show…the Dior fashion show! If you are going to do this right, this IS the show. I couldn’t believe it! But, it gets even better. The Dior experience included so many amazing things. The most notable was the opportunity to stay at the ultra-exclusive “La Suite Dior.” It’s the only suite inside the historic and newly renovated Dior store on 30 Montaigne in Paris, where Christian Dior first established his couture house in 1946. (Yes, there is a suite INSIDE the store!) 

For more on what I wore to the fashion show (and after party) make sure you check out this post next!

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Arriving at La Suite Dior

When I arrived, I was greeted by one of our butlers, JB. My friend, Marta, and I rode the private elevator up four floors to the suite, which did not disappoint. The first thing we saw when we walked in, a table full of huge Dior bags. “These are your gifts,” JB shared. JB gave us a formal tour and then served us some tea. We didn’t sit very long, and another butler came in to take us on a tour of the atelier where they create couture gowns for clients. “This dress took 800 hours to create,” the head of the atelier explained. I couldn’t even wrap my head around that. 800 hours for one dress? These pieces are like works of art…very special. We were not allowed to take any photos here. While we went on our first tour, the butlers unpacked our suitcases. This is not a common occurrence in my life, and I was relieved I didn’t have anything weird in my suitcase. 😉 

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DIOR DRESS | DIOR CAPE | BELT | SHOESBAG

Trying on Dior Outfits

Following the atelier visit, it was time to SHOP. There were 4 stylists, 2 runners, and a security guard…in addition to the butlers…all in La Suite Dior. No joke! The stylists brought in racks and racks of clothes, accessories, jewelry, shoes, etc. Marta and I had given them our sizes and style preferences before coming. We each had our own Dior rack and stylist. The first outfit the stylist gave me to try was a beautiful floral brocade blazer and a full skirt. I loved this outfit, but it didn’t quite feel like me. I tried on a few casual outfits next and then followed up with some dresses, of course! I chose the black dress above because I felt beautiful and sexy in it! I love how edgy the straps are too. Originally I wasn’t going to buy a jacket or coat, until I tried on this cape (above). I immediately fell in love!  

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Dior In-Store Cocktail Party

After our epic in-suite shopping experience, a Dior makeup artist stopped by to do our makeup for an in-store cocktail party. I wore a Maje jumpsuit (above) I had just bought the day before because my luggage arrived late. I love this jumpsuit! You’ll see another all-white Maje outfit that I’ll share in an upcoming post. One of the first things I said to the makeup artist? “I love Charlotte Tilbury!” Then I noticed the word Dior on the eyeshadow palettes. OF COURSE, she uses DIOR makeup, she is a Dior makeup artist. Lordy. It was a major gaffe. I was mortified, but quickly brushed it off. Let’s just chalk that moment up to some serious jet lag, shall we? The makeup was fresh and beautiful. 

Shop Dior beauty here.

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Dinner in Le Salon Historique de Monsieur Dior

After the cocktail party, it was time for our exquisite dinner in Le Salon Historique de Monsieur Dior! This was the room where the original fashion shows took place. After non-stop activity, it was really great to sit down and have some time just to connect with Marta. She and I have known each other for a VERY long time- we worked together about 25 years ago at WROC in Rochester, NY. We reconnected online a little over a year ago. Our stories couldn’t be more different, and yet we have so much in common, most notably our spiritual paths. We both experienced major trauma in childhood – into adulthood, and we both have done so much deep work to heal.  (You can learn more about Marta’s story through her new book, Unraveling.) I hope to write about my story one of these days! 

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Private Tour of La Galerie Dior

Once we finished our delicious and beautiful meal (how amazing are the Dior plates and bowls (above)… Wow) we went on a private tour of La Galerie Dior. By now, there is no one at the store except Marta and I and the 20 Dior staff members there solely to service us! Normally, the gallery is filled with hundreds of people. We toured it in our pajamas and the gifted Dior bathrobes that notably had our initials embroidered on them. We saw iconic dresses from all of the Dior creative directors. It was really special. I think it’s like 12am at this point, and our day isn’t over! 

Post-tour, we had a private pajama tour of the newly renovated 3,000+ square foot store. They had a person available for every single department in the store – like 10 people. I was delirious by now, so I just soaked in the beauty of the store and marveled at how we were the only people there.

When we finally got back to the suite, it was like 1:30am! The butlers had drawn a bath and lit a bunch of subtly fragrant Dior candles. Marta and I joked about our joint bath and then went to bed. It was now 2am. If ever there was a time to suck it up and just stay up late, this was it!

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Hair & Makeup by Dior Makeup Artists

The next morning our made-to-order breakfast was delivered, and we both took showers. The only direction we had for hair/makeup for the show was clean, damp hair. The stylists wheeled our clothes back in so we could make our final selections and purchases. Unfortunately, our package did not include clothing. 😉 But, if ever there was a time to splurge, this was it. We both bought two outfits, one for the show and one for the after-party. For the after-party, I went with an even edgier look, a pair of leather skorts with a sheer lace skirt over them and a delicate, gold crochet top. I wore the same thick belt and black patent platforms for both looks. 

The hair and makeup team came next. There were 2 teams, one for Marta and one for me. They actually did both hair and makeup at the same time! It was impressive. While I was sitting in the chair, I actually had a moment where I thought I was going to cry, but somehow choked back the tears. I realized that this was actually happening, my dream was coming true! And…I also felt so overwhelmed by it, I almost couldn’t handle it. Both can be true…you can be incredibly happy and grateful and also overwhelmed. Your nervous system has to be prepared – even for the great things. (This is why most lottery winners lose their money.) I closed my eyes for a minute and took some subtle deeper breaths to calm my body down. It worked and I felt more grounded, in my body… and excited.

While we got our hair and makeup done, the Dior photographer came in and took some photos of Marta and I in our PJ’s and also in our show outfits. He had to race to the show so we only got a handful of pictures. But we also scheduled another shoot before the show so I knew we would get some more photos. We skipped lunch and opted for dessert instead. A wise choice, I think. 

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Pre-Show Photo Shoot

Shortly after inhaling some amazing French confection, we left the suite for our second photo shoot. (Only Dior photographers are allowed to take pictures inside the suite, which is why we needed a second photographer.) Olga snapped beautiful photos of us both inside and outside of the store. We even got a balcony shot that showcases the historic Dior store facade.

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Arriving at Dior Fashion Show

Next on the itinerary, la pièce de résistance… the Dior fashion show! We hopped into our black SUV and headed toward Jardin des Tuileries. As we pulled up, you could see a sea of photographers and fans. You can get a glimpse of it here on my Instagram. It was mayhem and also exhilarating. I was completely swept up in the moment.

When we got out of the car, standing outside the venue, there were barricades and pens for us to line up and be ushered in. You have to show your handwritten invitation to be allowed in. It felt pretty amazing to have that golden ticket! As we moved further into the venue through a tunnel, there was one last security point and then we were in.

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Thoughts on the Dior Collection

Inside the tent, I immediately noticed the epic, surrealist art installation by Atelier Joana Vasconcelos that was visually spectacular. The moody blue lighting highlighted the bold, colorful shapes (that reminded me of maracas). It felt dark, yet celebratory…and a little psychedelic. 😉 I was expecting chairs or a more traditional runway setup, so I was completely surprised by the installation, the carpeted platforms, and the setup overall. We were in the second row, which I was very excited about because we could really see everything! About 20 minutes after we arrived, the show started and the models began coming out. At first, I was bummed because they were on the other side of the venue and I couldn’t see them. But they weaved through the installation maze and ended up right in front of us. I loved that I could really see the clothing and details up close. The collection was full of quintessentially French, powerful, minimalist, gorgeous pieces. It was the perfect mix of masculinity and femininity, of power and lightness, celebrating the female form while also celebrating the power that women have. The creative director, Maria Grazia Churi, based the collection on the 1950s French woman. She felt that that decade has been defined mostly by Hollywood and not by the French, so she wanted to redefine what it meant to be a French woman in the 1950s. One of her inspirations was Catherine Dior, the sister of Christian Dior.

To see videos of the show, pop over to Instagram and YouTube.

 

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Taking In This Special Moment

At one point during the show, the song “Je Ne Regrette Rien” by the famous French singer Édith Piaf started playing. It means I regret nothing. And that was a big moment for me. I could feel the tears welling up in my eyes because that song, the clothes, and the inspiration were all so powerful. It was also such a beautiful nod to French heritage. I was SO moved and the reality of what was transpiring, washed over me.

After the show, Marta and I stayed in our seats so that we could walk around a little bit afterward and really take in the venue and art. I also wanted to fully savor the moment. Too often I realize a goal and then race onto the next thing. I really wanted to let this moment sink in.

After the show, we headed back to La Suite Dior to hang out for a few hours and leisurely pack up. I went back to my hotel (I stayed at Hôtel Plaza Athénée while I wasn’t at La Suite Dior) and Marta went home (she lives in Paris).

This was legit a dream come true, and I still get emotional thinking and talking about it. I can’t express enough how magical of an experience this was for me. I hope you read this and realize that the seemingly impossible… IS possible! This was a dream I had put on the back burner because I thought it was unattainable. But it perfectly unfolded because I opened myself up to the possibility and let the magic happen. I’m so thankful to Dior for this incredible experience and to my dear friend Marta who shared it with me.

We have a lot more Paris Fashion Week content coming so stay tuned…and make sure you’re subscribed to the newsletter so you don’t miss anything!

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How To Manifest Anything, Fashion blogger Erin Busbee of Busbee Style wearing an orange and blue Staud Ina dress with white sunglasses walking around in Telluride, Colorado
Erin Busbee
Erin Busbee of Busbee Style is proud to lead a community of well over one-million vibrant women over 40. Through her platforms, Erin shares a unique inside / out approach to her style, fashion & beauty content, honoring the natural power, radiance, and beauty within. Erin believes that life over 40 is one of the best times of your lives…a Midlife Awakening!
Join the Conversation

25 thoughts on “What It Was Like to Stay in the Ultra-Exclusive La Suite Dior in Paris for The First Time

  1. I was so emotional as I read this post! As I started to read the theme from Out of Africa began to play, how cool is that? I am truly so very happy for you as you experienced a dream come true. You described it all so well that I felt I was living vicariously through you so thank you for sharing this beyond special moment with us! You looked stunning and so happy in those gorgeous clothes, like a Dior princess! And one more thing…you are young, beautiful (inside and out) and in great shape and deserve to be anywhere you dream to be!

    1. Wow, Robin… Thank you SO much for your sweet, supportive comment. I appreciate it more than you know. I’m honored to share this experience with you and hope it encourages you to make YOUR dreams come true too. Thanks for being a part of this truly amazing community of women. I’m talking more about my Paris experience in my YouTube video this Wednesday. ~Erin xo

  2. Oh Erin! I got literal chills reading the first three paragraphs of how this came about for you! What a wonderful and magical experience. You look so beautiful and I am grateful that you shared this with us! <3

    1. Thank you so much for reading and for your support, Janet! This still feels surreal and hard to believe it really happened to me, but I am SO excited to share and help encourage others to keep believing in their own dreams! Thanks for being a part of this amazing community. ~Erin xo

  3. Thank you for sharing this superbly magical trip with such and iconic brand! This is a great way to show how important is to believe in our dreams❤️

    1. Thanks so much for reading and for your support, Eija! I am honored to share this surreal experience in hopes that it helps so many women keep believing in themselves! Never give up. SO glad you are here! ~Erin xo

  4. Thanks for sharing this magical experience. I love the black dress and in a couple of photos especially your face is just glowing!

    1. Thank you SO much, Janet! So excited to share this with our amazing community… it is surreal and was beyond wonderful to experience. And serves as a beautiful reminder for us all, to keep believing in ourselves! ~Erin xo

    1. Thank you SO much for your sweet words and support, Julie! Truly a magical, dream come true… It was surreal and still hard to believe that this actually happened! Can’t wait to share more… ~Erin xo

  5. I’ve followed you for a long time now. Reading this brought me so much joy. I’m so happy you got to experience this. You look beautiful, BTW too:)

  6. Oh my gosh Erin! I’m so happy for you to have had this experience. I’m living vicariously through you! Thanks for sharing.

    1. Thank you SO much, Nancy! It was truly the experience of a lifetime. How lovely to read such supportive words…

  7. What an unbelievable experience, thank you for sharing. I think I would crying the entire time too.

    1. Haha…yep. I sure felt like crying, but somehow held it together. Struggled with worthiness at a couple of moments, and then just reminded myself that I am worthy of all the magic. Thanks for your sweet note.

  8. Erin, there are no words. I am speechless! OMG, what an honor and the outfits! I can’t believe how stunning they are and how gorgeous you (and Marta) look in them. The fantastical atmosphere Dior created is beyond description. Only photographs can do it justice. Dior and Armani are my two go-to designers when I want to splurge and invest for a lifetime. I LOVED this and am going to go through it again, live vicariously. xo

    1. Thank you SO much, Liz. There are certain ‘pinch-me’ moments in your life that you know you’ll treasure forever. This was one of them! I appreciate your kind, supportive words.

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