On Monday night, Dior and Saks Fifth Avenue ushered in the holiday season with the unveiling of their magnificent Carousel of Dreams window collaboration. The early evening celebration, which Jennifer Lawrence, Rachel Zegler, Alexandra Daddario, and more attended, kicked off with pre-show drinks and small bites at Saks Fifth Avenue’s The Vault.
The group was then ushered out across the street from Saks Fifth Avenue to watch the Dior display lit up for the first time. As the crowd waited for the big moment, stars like Ashley Park, Maya Hawke, and Nina Dobrev kept warm with navy blankets that Dior and Saks provided. Tracee Ellis Ross sat alongside Dior women’s creative director, Maria Grazia Chiuri.
The CEO of Christian Dior Couture, Delphine Arnault, spoke to the crowd about the theme of the takeover and how much work went into creating the striking store facade and 24 windows, which feature miniatures of Paris and New York landmarks with a touch of Dior in them, designed to represent the journey between Dior’s base in Paris and Saks’ in New York.
“This unique takeover is a wonderful tribute to the dreams and magic of the holiday season,” Arnault said. “It shows the creativity, the joyfulness, and the savoir faire of Dior. Our teams have worked with passion around the clock for over a year for this unprecedented project.”
Following Arnault’s remarks, house ambassador Jennifer Lawrence spoke. To her shock, her belt popped off as she started, but she handled the incident expertly, resuming her remarks as if nothing happened seconds later. Before kicking off the light show, she told the crowd, “I’ve had the honor being a part of the Dior family for quite some time now, and looking around, this feels like the perfect place to celebrate the holidays. Thank you again for having me. This is so exciting.”
As the facade began to illuminate, the ever-busy Fifth Avenue block in front of Saks was closed to traffic so 60 ballerinas from the Martha Graham Dance Company could perform in front of the dreamy astrological- and nature-themed window display. Grazia Chiuri designed the navy costumes for the mesmerizing dance number. The wheel of fortune-like facade itself takes inspiration from artist Pietro Ruffo’s motif design for the Dior cruise 2024 line, on which Ruffo worked with Grazia Chiuri.
From there, literal fireworks shot off from the roof of Saks, timed perfectly to enhance the three-and-a-half minute light show that featured animation and showed off all the intricate, sumptuous detail designers put into the facade. The sequence has three parts to it, focusing on the beauty of creation, nature, and finally, the captivating moments of winter, per Dior.
It was one of the most beautiful window displays in the department store’s history and a testament to how much technology and artistry has evolved since Saks did its first light show in 2004.
Post-show, guests retreated into Saks’ cozy L’Avenue restaurant for cocktails and more small bites, including burrata with tomatoes and smoked salmon. Partygoers like Zegler, Dobrev, and Daddario mingled, posed in front of Dior’s step and repeat, and enjoyed what will go down as one of the 2023 holiday season’s most unforgettable events.
See the display yourself at Saks Fifth Avenue’s 611 Fifth Avenue location now through Jan. 5, 2024.
Senior News and Strategy Editor
Alyssa Bailey is the senior news and strategy editor at ELLE.com, where she oversees coverage of celebrities and royals (particularly Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton). She previously held positions at InStyle and Cosmopolitan. When she’s not working, she loves running around Central Park, making people take #ootd pics of her, and exploring New York City.