Rich Pickings in Dubai... Donatella's Whirlwind Tour...

Festival, organized by Comité Colbert, showcases French craftsmanship at the Dubai Mall.

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RICH PICKINGS: France’s top luxury brands joined forces to kick off a weeklong festival at the Dubai Mall showcasing the best of French craftsmanship. Cartier, Chanel, Louis Vuitton and Hermès were among the 29 brands that contributed rare creations to an exhibition titled “Les objets de rêve” (“Dream objects”) at the mall, which bills itself as the world’s largest, with a footfall of 5 million visitors a month. Organized by the Comité Colbert, the event grew guests such as His Highness Sheikh Majid bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, chairman of the Dubai Culture & Arts Authority and son of the emirate’s ruler; Alain Azouaou, France’s ambassador to the United Arab Emirates, and Patrick Chalhoub, joint ceo of the Chalhoub Group. Comité Colbert president Elisabeth Ponsolle des Portes said the Middle East represented 8 percent of the total turnover of the organization’s 75 members. “The Dubai Mall has the highest concentration of Comité Colbert member brands anywhere in the world,” she noted. “Our presence here really illustrates our confidence in the market. The region has done well in weathering the global crisis.”

Items on show included a pair of Pierre Hardy sandals made from a single peacock feather and a limited edition candelabra designed by Ora-ïto for Christofle.

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