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Dior and I

A look behind the scenes at Dior and the shaping of Raf Simons’ first collection. The film offers an intimate look into the creative process of this minimalistic fashion designer and is free of any stereotypical glamour or backbiting. The documentary stresses the almost uncanny similarity between the celebrated Christian Dior and the young Simons.

The superbly designed Dior and I follows Raf Simons as he prepares to launch his first Haute Couture collection for Christian Dior in the spring of 2012. Few fashion houses are as eagerly watched as Dior. From the moment Simons was appointed as creative director of Dior’s Haute Couture line in 2012, doubts were circulating – it was claimed he was too minimalistic, and best known for his own menswear label. How would this Belgian designer, with only a working knowledge of French, manage to cope under the weight of the Dior heritage while having only eight weeks to put together his first collection?

Filmmaker Tcheng followed Simons from the moment he arrived in the atelier. Simons appears outwardly composed when all the time pressure is mounting inside. Meanwhile his assistant, Pieter Mulier, wins over the seamstresses and the dressmakers – the backbone of the house – with his personal charm. One source of tension is that between Simons and Dior himself.

The similarities between Dior and Simons are almost uncanny and put an extra burden on his shoulders. Simons works long hours pondering how to combine the classical Dior line – discreet and yet feminine – with his own influences, especially from the world of contemporary art, such as the paintings of Gerhard Richter and Sterling Ruby. The documentary approaches haute couture not as something trivial but as designer art, with strength of vision being more important than the height of the price.