DIOR AND I
Following the trend of successful films on the ever fascinating world of fashion, such as “The September Issue,” “Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has to Travel,” ”Valentino: The Last Emperor,” “L’amour Fou” and more recently ”Bill Cunningham New York,” this new documentary by French director Frederic Tcheng offers a glimpse behind the scenes of the first couture collection in 2012 of recently appointed designer Raf Simons at the House Of Dior.
Simons had to follow the well publicized exit of John Galliano and had only eight weeks to conceive and produce an elaborate and quite opulent Fall/Winter couture collection. The film chronicles the often-difficult process Simons had to navigate through. For the notoriously reserved Belgian designer, who had previously avoided the spotlight while designing for Jil Sander, the challenge involved not only a change of vision and aesthetics, but also an adjustment to a new world of extreme luxury for a global brand. This was far away from the quiet minimalism in menswear design that had been Simon’s personal signature over the years.
The film depicts an inner search for a renewed sense of creative identity as the new artistic director for the house tries to balance the preservation of a legendary creative legacy, while directing the company towards a new path more in tune with the spirit of the times. His ultimate goal is to define modern luxury and modernize the fashion house yet steer away from the provocative exuberance of Galliano, whose name is never mentioned in the film.
The shadow of Christian Dior looms large throughout and illustrates the duality at the core of the film. The film shows the delicate balance between the two visionaries, Dior and Simons, who are seemingly so different and yet so similar in their respective creative visions despite being separated by space and time.
Today Dior is a global fashion powerhouse with an estimated $1.7 billion in sales 2014. The first Canadian boutique under the direction of Raf Simons is set to open in Vancouver later this spring. DIOR AND I is now screening at the VIFF Theatre until May 30.
Contact the theatre for show times.
By Emmanuel St. Juste
Gazette Style Editor