The USA Film Festival brought fashion to the forefront with the fascinating documentary Dior and I. The film takes viewers inside an intense eight week evolution of Dior’s new artistic director, Raf Simons’ very first haute couture collection. Touching on Raf’s pressures to create a great collection for the international fashion house to the involvement of the gifted seamstress and Raf’s team to the similarities between Raf and Christian Dior himself. Director Frédéric Tcheng composes an immaculate depiction of the powerhouse known as “The House of Dior”.
“Being French and growing up in France, Dior has always been such a legend and such an institution.” Tcheng says. “A chance encounter” he calls it. Tcheng had recently met someone at Dior and asked “What was going to happen next with the House of Dior?” And because of this the documentary began to develop.
Dior and I is Tcheng’s first project as the only director and with only eight weeks to film he admits it was nerve wrecking. Partly skeptical (because he doesn’t come from a fashion background) but after researching information about Raf Simons he changed his mind. “Raf is always like a painter. The way he collaborates, the way he transforms his influences into something modern and new, I was completely in love with his creative process and wanted to get to know him as he worked.”
When asked why it was important for him to incorporate quotes from Christian Dior himself throughout the film he retorts “Raf has to go back to the history of the house and has to transform the legacy also into something that represents him”. Raf states in the film, he began reading Christian Dior’s autobiography and had to put it down after reading a few pages because “It was too similar to his own process” “It was creepy”. “As soon as he said that I knew that there was something in the relationship between Christian Dior and him that was fundamental for the film” says Tcheng.
270 hours of footage narrowed down to 90 minutes of intriguing, behind the scene processes of a couture dress (for the house of Dior that is) and Raf’s personal obstacle of overcoming his perception as a “minimalist” that brings him to tears is emotional to watch. "The film was not just the collection but the process of making the collection", Tcheng says. After watching the film myself I have a new found respect for all individuals and artists that work behind the scenes to create a beautiful couture collection.
Grateful and humbled that the film is being “received very well” and “it’s much bigger” than he ever expected and Tcheng takes it all in.
Dior and I is for anyone who loves, creates and styles fashion. Dior and I is now playing in theaters across the world. Grab tickets to the fashion documentary of the decade!