Do you dream of decadent dresses and glamorous gowns? Do you love the high heels and high drama portrayed in films such as Coco Before Chanel, Lagerfeld Confidential, The September Issue and the formidable The Devil Wears Prada? If so, you'll enjoy Frédérick Tcheng's latest doco-film, Dior and I.
Dior and I takes you into the revered world of the Christian Dior fashion house in this behind-the-scenes look at the creation of Raf Simons' first haute couture collection as Dior's new artistic director. It's the story of an unassuming wild card guiding an iconic brand into the future whilst recognising and paying homage to the brand's glorious past. It's also a wonderful tribute to the house ateliers - the seamstresses and seamsters, some of whom have worked with the house for over 40 years, who translate Raf Simons' vision into beautiful creations with passion and a sense of humour.
In a style similar to The September Issue featuring Vogue and Anna Wintour (who also makes an appearance here), Dior and I documents the eight weeks that Raf Simons has to complete his debut collection. You get to walk the hallowed halls of Christian Dior's HQ, observe the creative processes of its artistic director, marvel at and laugh with the tireless seamstresses and seamsters and watch the close bonds that form between all the collaborators.
Dior and I also explores the challenges of finding and expressing one's own voice within a brand that has earned historical significance in the fashion world and an established reputation internationally.
Raf Simons senses the ghost of Christian Dior overseeing his work, musing that the founder has "a legacy that is so gigantic and so sublime" and the brand "so much DNA it will be hard to find creative freedom" that he has to step back and focus on his own vision. In expressing how this feels, he says there "is a fine line between insanity and visionary".
Whilst catfights on the catwalk are absent from this film, there are just enough Miranda Priestly "that sweater is not just blue, it's not turquoise. It's not lapis. It's actually cerulean…" moments to keep you on edge and holding your breath.
In the same way as Raf Simons' couture collection takes form, this film has been beautifully constructed, stitch by stitch, to have you truly believing that behind everything you wear, there is a true visionary who has the ability to create wearable art from a piece of material and a needle and thread.