Blowhard, Esq. writes:
I thought this was a not-bad documentary about fashion designer Raf Simons, the Belgian who took over as creative director for the storied House of Dior in 2012. The movie focuses on the beginning of Simons’ tenure, so it’s mainly about an outsider adapting to a company with a strong institutional identity and the inevitable frictions a newcomer causes. Although director Frédéric Tcheng seems initially hooked by the affable Simons, he’s just as intrigued by Dior’s two ateliers, the in-house workshops staffed by master artisans who are tasked with executing Simons’ intricate couture designs. The approach reminded me of the spate of music documentaries that gave equal weight to studio musicians and backup singers.
My one quibble is that the movie is shot in the unobtrusive fly-on-the-wall style favored by “serious” documentary filmmakers, but I think it could’ve used a straightforward expository section explaining the background and economics of how a couture house works. How are they able to keep the lights on and pay for all those remarkable craftsmen, some of whom have been with the company for decades? It could’ve been that the director knew his audience would overwhelmingly be fashion people for whom that information is known, so it didn’t need to be explained.
Raf Simons eventually left Dior and started as the Chief Creative Officer at Calvin Klein two days ago. Someone should be working on the sequel, CALVIN AND I.
DIOR AND I is currently streaming on Netflix.
- I wrote about another fashion documentary, THE FIRST MONDAY IN MAY, here.