Dior and I has to be one of the best fashion documentaries of the 21st Century. Whether you’re in the industry, a fan, or just a bystander, Dior and I is a film that will give you a better appreciation of fashion as a business and an art form.
The film delivers a special behind-the-scenes look at Christian Dior and their transition from old to new. With the arrival of their newly appointed artistic director Raf Simons, everyone at Dior fashion house was ready and waiting to receive their new boss.
The pressure was on from the beginning as Raf alerted his new team that he would be responsible for the creation of a new collection for Dior. Simons described himself as a minimalist when he used to work at brand Jil Sander. Now he was presented with the task of creating a Haute Couture Collection for Dior in July. From that moment on he had 8 weeks to unmask his creations.
“A thin waist with a lot of volume at the bottom, that is the new look style.” – Hong-Bo
In between shots, black and white clips of Dior would roll as Raf would narrate. It was the voice of Dior and his ideas clashing with that of Simons. Often reverting back to how Dior shocked the world with his bold ideas of fashion for women in his heyday, Raf was sharply focused on how the new look would need to have the same effect as that of Dior’s first collection.
He referenced different artists and pieces as inspiration for wanting to go in a new direction. Different colors, materials, layers and many other aspects that caught his team of seamstresses off-guard. The main artist who impacted his direction was Sterling Ruby. He states “One New York Times critic (points to a Ruby painting) referred to this as Gangster Rothko.”
His righthand that he brought in for the project was Pieter. Pieter’s ideas flowed nicely with the seamstresses, especially one of the leads, Florence Chehet. But as the project eases into the later stages a problem emerges. This specific problem is one that only Florence can fix, and to Raf’s chagrin, his first conflict with the team occurs as he discovers she was sent to New York City without his knowledge.
This documentary deserves all of the acclaim its received from press the world over. Not only was it thought-provoking, but inspiring as well. All of the drama and suspense leads up to the fashion show with the new collection which was a great success. The venue was flawless and the design was something many had never seen before. The use of flowers to accomplish this feat was absolutely breathtaking.
This is not your usual drab, boring, superficial, stuffy fashion film. Everything in the film is real and raw. A massive congrats to director Frédéric Tcheng. Even capturing Raf venturing out in a new direction, taking strides to go into unfamiliar territory with Dior as his passenger, the documentary itself was an adventure. As opposed to your 2 – 4 year film span, this was filmed in a mere 2 months with a focus on a subject (Raf) who despises being recorded.
It was interesting to see Raf’s inner battle with cameras while being recorded for a documentary. This problem arose down the home stretch of the fashion show preparation that week. His response to Vogue offering a 10-pg. spread was “I don’t feel comfortable being recorded by people I don’t know,” and his body language changed at the very mention of cameras and interviews.
Special guests of the fashion show include: Anna Winter, Jennifer Lawrence, Sharon Stone, Marion Cotillard, Versace, Dianne Von Furstenburg, Raf’s parents, and many more.
I highly suggest you see this film as a movie-buff and demand it if you’re a fashion professional. Dior and I gets a solid 9 out of 10 and should quench your fashion thirst by films-end. Fortunately for Atlantans, the movie will debut at UA Tara on April 24. Tcheng should be very pleased with this project, and in my opinion, has set the fashion documentary bar extremely high. Having great footage and a behind-the-scenes style angle is one thing, but it’s an entirely different animal capturing the hearts, minds, and attention of those who watch.