Dior & I, a new documentary following the renowned Parisien couture label, Dior, plays like a sumptous episode of Project Runway. Raf Simons was appointed Creative Director of Dior in April 2012, a startling move for a fashion house that many saw as the antithesis to Simons' minimalism. As one of just two houses still working in the long traditon of haute couture, the Belgian designer, previously heading up Jil Sander, arrived with a mission to bridge old and new.
With just eight weeks to create his first collection the designer had to find a way to marry his contemporary approach with Dior's renowned reputation for elaborate techniques, a frenetic journey that is captured by director Frederic Tcheng. Using extracts from Dior's own memoir as a voiceover, the film is able to illuminate the radical departure that Simons represents at a legendary house, now 110 years old, that has become a byword for glamor, and immortalized by musicians from Morrissey to Kanye.
Best known for Valentino: The Last Emperor, as well as Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has To Travel, Tcheng brings terrific intimacy to his subject as the designer prepares his debut show for Dior. Multilayered and beautifully edited, Dior & I is quite the spectacle.
Dior & I opens in New York on Friday, April 10 at Film Forum and the Film Society of Lincoln Center, followed by a Los Angeles opening on April 17. It expands nationally starting April 24.