That’s why I went to see the stunning documentary “Dior and I” For the love of beautiful, well made clothes and because twice in my lifetime (so far) I’ve had the pleasure of visiting the Dior design house in Paris. Unfortunately it was not to be measured for haute couture, but like a fairytale to imagine myself wearing it, and to admire everything in sight.The documentary which is part of the Vancouver International Film Festival (VIFF), does an excellent job of bringing the viewer inside the storied world of the Christian Dior fashion house with a privileged, behind-the-scenes look at the creation of Raf Simons’ first haute couture collection as its new artistic director.
Before being appointed to this position, Belgium born Raf Simons was best known within the industry for designing tailored menswear, and in 2005 was appointed creative director of Jil Sander – a role in which he flourished. It was all ready-to-wear, so was he ready for Dior?Those familiar with the Jil Sander minimalistic label were waiting with bated breath to see how Raf would cast his ideas onto the Dior label especially having never worked in haute couture. In the cutthroat fashion world you wonder if they were hoping he’d succeed or fail.
For fashion fanatics there’s plenty of eye candy. There’s also humour, and tensions that arise in a high strung fashion climate with only weeks to spare before the big show and not everything is ready. Also, Raf wants to make a name for himself and do something completely different which the house has never done before. He’s a fan of art and wants to incorporate ideas from artist Sterling Ruby, whose work he admires (paintings that look like they were spray painted onto canvases) onto fabric for dresses and jackets for the new collection. It is something the atelier is not used to and not sure they can pull off.
The final scene is the big fashion show with plenty of stars, other well known designers like Donna Karan and Donatella Versace and fashion editors like Vogue’s Anna Wintour. The grand finale takes place in a grand Paris apartment where the walls have been entirely cloaked with a million flowers. Pretty heady. Hope no one had allergies.There’s a lesson learned here. People get typecast – not just in movies but in real life too. What did they call you Raf? A minimalist I believe. Looking at these photos goes to prove…
Photos: google images