Spotlight: Dior and I
Photo Credit: Jean-Jacques Poucel
“The audience sees me as a minimalist and I’m not. In a way I find it quite surprising. Did I take on a minimalist brand? Yes. But that doesn’t mean I’m only about minimalism,” says Belgian fashion designer Raf Simons in the new documentary, Dior and I. The film, directed by Frédéric Tcheng, shows the eight weeks between the 2012 announcement that Simons (who previously designed ready-to-wear at Jil Sander) had been hired as the creative director at Christian Dior, and his first couture show for the storied French fashion house. Viewers can draw their own conclusions about Simons’ aesthetic while watching Tcheng’s lush portrayal of the inner workings of a couture house. It’s a place where seams are sewn, ripped, and reworked daily and the structure of a dress must meet the rigorous whims of a designer who compiles ideas and lets the workers in the atelier figure out the inner architecture of each look. As the talented craftspeople try to finish all of the dresses and suits in time for the show, they must navigate this notion that Simons shares with the filmmaker: “The past is not romantic, it is the future that is romantic for me.”
By Elizabeth Varnell
Pictured: Dior designer Raf Simons looks at a vintage Dior dress from the documentary Dior And I, directed by Frédéric Tcheng.
Film Still Courtesy of CIM Productions