New Man in Town

For lovers of haute couture and the process involved to create it, the documentary film Dior and I provides ample entertainment and enlightening education. Following the termination of John Galliano from the house of Christian Dior, Raf Simons was named as creative director for the women’s division.

Coming from a self taught ready-to-wear background, most recently menswear at Jil Sander, Raf dives into the position with an equal amount of overwhelming nervousness and assured acumen. Most striking is the timeframe he is given to produce his first collection, a mere eight weeks!

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Raf Simons refining designs with atelier staff and model.

The film follows his journey from inspiration (including a visit to the Centre Pompidou to view a painting, the artwork of which will eventually become a textile) to a polished runway show complete with live flowers wallpapering a hotel particulier.

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From imagination to creation!

The unsung heroes and heroines of the film are the patternmakers and seamstresses, tirelessly working away in the atelier with a mixture of great skill and pride. They are inspiring in their own right because they simply love their jobs and being the innovators behind shape, construction and silhouette. Honoring them is best gift the filmmakers give to the story.

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The wonderful atelier staff deciding which designs they’d like to work on.

For his part, Raf Simons is open to the camera, at times jubilant, tense or appreciative and most importantly, vulnerable. Every day of this eight week period is a suspense filled run to the catwalk.

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Raf contemplating a dress from the collection in a quiet moment.

Dior and I is a beautiful and artistic statement on a specific niche garment business that caters to only the fewest in the world. The inside view goes beyond the academic and provides a three dimensional human experience of the environment these lucky people live in day to day.