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Christian Dior invites Raffles Shanghai students for fashion confab

2014-02-27 

January 20, 2014- Christian Dior selected three Raffles Shanghai students among 70 other students from 16 top designs schools worldwide to attend an international conference and fashion show on haute couture in Paris, France.

The Creative Director of Christian Dior, Raf Simons, sent the formal invitation in December 2013 to Raffles Design Institute Shanghai. The three-day tour, which is also an all-expenses-paid trip by Dior, gave the participants an opportunity to tour around the Dior’s headquarters, attend a workshop, conference, and an haute couture show.

Raffles Design Shanghai selected its top 3 fashion design students namely Xu Yingjin, Wu Die and Fu Yuji to fly to Paris with the Program Director of Fashion Design Department, Liz Thng. Delegates from Raffles Shanghai were greeted by a Dior executive at Charles De Gaulle International Airport and were arranged to stay in the five-star Hotel du Louvre right in the historic center of Paris. Other participating prestigious design schools include Central Saint Martins College, The Royal College of Art London, the Antwerp Royal Academy of fine Arts, and Bunka Fashion College. Tsinghua University and Raffles Design Shanghai are the only two schools in China that were invited to the conference.

On their first day of arrival, all the students and lecturers were invited to visit the maison’s ateliers on Avenue Montaigne. The participants caught a glimpse of how the haute couture artisans work at breakneck speed to finish the intricate garments that would become the central motif of the collection for the haute couture show.

The students had a life-changing experience and chance to interact with the couture designers and with other students who share the same passion and talents in fashion design.

Raffles students and lecturers are greeted by a Dior executive at the airport.
 
Raffles delegates are accommodated at the 5-star Hotel Du Louvre.
 
In the hotel room, Dior prepared gifts and invitations to the couture show.
 
The students (Fu Yuji & Xu Yingjin) visit Dior’s Headquarter on Avenue Montaigne.
 
All the students visit the mansion’s ateliers and take a closer look at the making of garments for Dior Couture 2014SS collection.
 

The following day, Raffles delegates were also given tours of Dior’s headquarter as well as informative lectures on the maison’s culture and history by the CEO Sidney Toledano and the Archivist Soizic Pfaff. During the lectures, when asked about why students from Raffles Design Institute Shanghai were selected to attend the show, Mr. Toledano replied, “because you are one of the best design schools in the world!”

In the afternoon, the Raffles students had a chance to meet designers from other LVMH houses such as Louis Vuitton and Celine. During the 5-hour workshop, the designers shared their learning and working experience with international students from London, Shanghai, Florence, Tokyo, Antwerp, New York, and Beijing.

Dior’s Archivist Soizic Pfaff gives a lecture about the history of the brand to about 80 attendees from 16 top design schools.
 
Designers from LVMH houses share their experiences on the future of fashion
 

The highly anticipated event of the Paris trip was undoubtedly the couture show at 8:00 pm on January 20 which took place at The Musée Rodin. Although the students had a sneak peek on the collection previously at the workshop studio, they were still excited to see the actual haute couture accentuated with exquisite accessories being displayed down the runway. “This is a lifetime experience.” Xu Yingjin exclaimed. “The show is spectacular. I think this Paris trip will have a huge influence on me and my design.”

When Simons made his exit at the end of the show, the audience applauded him with exhilaration. Several media outfits came up to interview Simons and the students on their experience of Dior’s once in a lifetime opportunity as well as dealing with media attention as they continue their journey on becoming a top designer in the future.

Dior Couture 2014SS
 
The audience applauds Raf Simons as he makes his exit at the end of the show.
 
Raffles Students Wu Die and Xu Yingjin pose at Dior Couture runway.

The 3 chosen Raffles students could hardly conceal their undeniable excitement. Fu Yuji expressed his desire to become a top designer in the future. “Of course, without studying harder, I can’t achieve that” he said. Wu Die realized the importance of English when she communicated with students from other schools. “Everybody is communicating in English. A designer needs to express a concept effectively in English. As a design student, it is crucial to master a foreign language.”

From Dior’s perspective, the point of this grand gesture was to share the passion and savoir-faire of haute couture to a new generation of would-be fashion designers. As one of the 16 top design schools invited by Dior, Raffles Shanghai is honored and privileged to send the best students to attend Dior’s haute couture show. As such, it will continue to excel and strive to nurture more new design talents for China’s fashion industry.

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