Coming to DVD today, Tuesday, September 1: DIOR AND I
Frédéric Tcheng’s inside look at the legendary fashion house made its debut at Tribeca in 2014. Its extensive fest circuit also included Seattle, Sydney, Provincetown, Outfest, Jerusalem, New Zealand, Rio, Hamptons, Warsaw, Abu Dhabi, CPH:DOX, Tallinn Black Nights, and Madrid Fashion among others.
Tcheng’s point of entry to the storied brand is the arrival of Raf Simons, Dior’s new artistic director of the haute couture line. Having built his reputation as a menswear designer before moving on to Jill Sander, the Belgian is considered a minimalist, making him an unusual choice to take over the Dior legacy. With much to prove, he sets out to complete his first collection in a scant eight weeks, providing the necessary countdown tension that serves as the impetus here, compounded with the challenge of navigating the demands of an in-demand atelier and its staff of seasoned, and often charming, veterans. While there’s friction at times, Tcheng’s thoughtful approach is much more concerned with detailing the creative process than with focusing on interpersonal drama, for example by showing how Simons develops a preoccupation with the paintings of Sterling Ruby into an innovative thread-printing process. Simons largely remains fairly buttoned-up – all business, all the time – allowing occasional interludes from Christian Dior’s memoirs to serve as a somewhat more personal and revealing thread through the film, which does double duty by imparting a sense of history.