Screened as part of NZIFF 2014
Designer Raf Simons arrived at the House of Dior in 2012 with a reputation for minimalism, and accompanied by a dedicated and personable right-hand man. They had just eight weeks to create a collection that had to not only please house loyalists, but also announce a vision for the future. This entertaining documentary follows that collection from concept through to the most florid catwalk you are ever likely to see. Key to the task are Florence and Monique who head the ateliers where the designs are realised. Responding to the demands of the innovative newcomer, these two women are also at the beck and call of Dior’s most ‘important’ clients. Director Frédéric Tcheng, who previously worked on Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has to Travel and Valentino: The Last Emperor, casts an amused and admiring eye on fashion and fashionistas. Dior and I is a graceful homage to their rarefied world – and a glowing portrait of skilled and gifted people taking pride in their lovely work.
“I can’t imagine a more elegantly poised and charming study of a fashion house than Frédéric Tcheng’s Dior and I… This is a film that celebrates craft with its own near-perfect craft. A framing device of archive footage of Christian Dior and quotations from his writings, where he notes the battle between his own quiet nature and his role as a star designer, is used sparingly, but provides perfect counterpoint to one-time-minimalist Simons’ own lip-chewing doubts about every flamboyant garment he dreams up.” — Nick James, Sight & Sound