I’ve just watched a screening of the Dior and I movie, the documentary directed by Frédéric Tcheng which comes out on 27th March (in the UK). Following Raf Simons as he creates his first ever Dior collection in just eight weeks (a couture one, no less), it’s a tense and insightful look at Simons’ creative approach and process as he steps into the lead role at Paris’s most iconic fashion house.
It’s a very human and beautiful film. Raf is a sensitive guy and we see him building relationships with his atelier teams while navigating a whole new world of couture. There are creative pressures as this uncompromising designer attempts to achieve the impossible, such as reimagining a Sterling Ruby painting woven in Bucol duchesse satin. And there are PR pressures as all attention is focused on him, while this private, camera-shy designer would really rather let the work do the talking.
I’m quite surprised he agreed to do this film, considering the intimacy of the scenes, some very dramatic and extremely emotional. Those scenes are, of course, the best ones, in which we feel his anxieties and triumphs. Sharing the limelight are his right hand, Pieter Mulier and the atelier heads and seamstresses who are like a family. And cleverly threading the narrative together is a voiceover dialogue from Mr Christian Dior himself, in which his experiences and observations seem to echo Raf’s.
My favourite scene is the one where we see Raf and Dior’s worldwide communications director, Olivier Bialobos talking a few moments before the couture collection is unveiled to the expectant press and photographers. I won’t spill the beans but will just say, take tissues, you’ll need them.
Words: Navaz Batliwalla/Disneyrollergirl