Raf Simons inspecting creations during a fitting in 'Dior and I' (Dior)
Prepare yourselves one and all for perhaps the greatest fashion documentary to ever grace this fair planet, Dior and I! If you can hear a faint screaming ringing in your ear it’s the sound of the fashion world rejoicing that the fash flick is soon to be released after premiering at Tribeca Film Festival on April 17th. The documentary will record the changing of the garment guard at the house of Dior, from the theatrical John Galliano to the master of modern elegance, Raf Simons. Viewers will join Raf Simons on the eve of his first show for the brand, now a piece of fashion history itself, the fall 2012 couture collection and be given an inside view of the triumphs and tribulations which come with taking the reins at such a renowned house. If that isn’t enough for you then here are five reasons to get excited about the forthcoming documentary…
1. The director has serious fashion pedigree
The documentary's director, Federic Tcheng and two of his film credits to date (Getty)
Raf’s tale could not be in better hands as the fash flick is directed by Frederic Tcheng whose previous credits include, Valentino: The Last Emperor and Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has To Travel. Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter about recording the takeover of Raf, the filmmaker discussed the challenges of only having a short shooting period of three months, stating that, ‘we had no time to warm up and get the subjects’ trust, and that was the most challenging part of it, really… But, as in all creative processes, an obstacle becomes an asset. You could sense that there was electricity in the air.’ The director has also stated, that like his approach to the character of Diane Vreeland he wanted to open up the fashion world to everyone by centralising the documentary around the human, Raf himself.
2. Unprecedented insight into the Raf design process
Wondering how Raf Simons creates such style statements? Dior and I tells all! (Dior)
If you have ever wondered exactly how a garment genius operates then Raf’s right-hand man, Pietr Mulier who came with the designer from Jil Sander, tells all within the film. The documentary shows that Raf does not sketch at all, instead he provides his bevvy of designers with twelve concepts from his complex filing systems. His team will then scurry off to create between 150-200 sketches per category. These drawings are adjusted to create the final designs, which are then handed to the head atelier who delegates the garment construction and then wah-la, the 54 piece collection comes to life. Definitely a case of easier said than done!
3. Christian Dior himself makes an appearance
Christian Dior surounded by his creations in 1950 (Getty)
Within one of the film’s scenes we journey with the designer to his childhood home of Granville where he reveals that after reading the founding father of the brand’s autobiography, Dior by Dior he was shocked by the parallels between himself and Christian. Indeed the inspirations the two share are similar, both take/took inspiration from the 1950s, the post war context and have/had a strong love for contemporary art. Given the parallels it seems even more fitting that Christian Dior acts as a narrative voiceover by using vintage clips of the designer. As Fredric Tcheng discusses, ‘I found myself trying to push the boundaries of how we construct a film in the use of voiceover of Christian Dior, trying to conjure this ghost of Christian Dior, and creating a much more immersive and cinematic experience for the viewer.’
4. The Dior Archive is cracked open
Footage of Christian Dior preparing for his first ever presentation will appear in the film (Getty)
Not only will Raf’s fitting for the collection be mirrored by footage of Christian Dior himself readying himself for his first ever presentation, the brand’s legendary archive will be on show. The film will show Raf inspecting pieces from the archive for inspiration for his debut couture collection. That’s right, moving, living, breathing, vintage Dior on show. Be still our beating hearts.
5. The tantalising clip
'The Night Before The Show' Clip from the film (Dior)
The night before any show is tense, but nothing is more fraught than the evening before your debut collection for a brand, especially when it is a household name the world over. We dare you to watch the clip above without coming over all tense. The best bit of all? After popping the champagne to celebrate the collection’s completion Raf thanks his team, ‘For letting me into your family.’