Dior and I

August 4, 2014 at 10:55 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Another ‘visit’ to the NZ International Film Festival: Frédéric Tcheng’s “Dior and I“.

This is a ‘beautiful’ film: beautiful clothes; beautiful locations; beautiful people; and no shouting, but a surprisingly collaborative creative process.

It is 2012 and Belgian Raf Simons is being welcomed as the new Creative Director at the House of Dior; with him is his “right hand man” Pieter Mulier. The pair have eight weeks to create a collection.

This film gives a wonderful behind the scenes at one of the last great fashion houses. Go-Pro cameras planted everywhere give candid access to all parts of the creative process. Frédéric Tcheng artfully weaves historic footage of Dior and words from his biography into the candid footage.

What surprised me the most was the relationship between the Raf, and Florence and Monique. The latter are the premiers – they run two teams of ateliers. It is actually the ateliers who do the detailed design on all of the haute couture: Raf sets out how the garments will look and drape, but it is the atelier who does the detailed design and chooses how to cut and assemble the garment. As, one ateliers says; “I sketch the dress, make it, and it is Raf’s interpretation of my dress”. It is Florence and Monique decide which of their ateliers is responsible for a particular garment. Florence looks after suits and Monique looks after dresses.

The ateliers are the guardians of Dior’s legacy. Many have been there for decades; some have been there for 40 years! being french, they are beautifully turned out and work in heels – even on the control pedal of the sewing machines.

There really was no shouting. There was emotion and passion.

The showing takes place in a house with each room decorated with a separate flower – so many flowers that it takes 50 men two days to install all of the flowers.

If the ateliers are well turned out, then everyone else is ‘beautiful’ everyone of them could step straight into an editorial shoot. The fit-models are tall and thin; the runway models are ‘just so’. The Managing Director is an elegant french woman.

Anna Wintour, Marion Cotillard, Sharon Stone and Jennifer Lawrence make cameo appearances at the showing. I just hope that the Dior client who spends over 330,000 Euro a year, and received a personal fitting in New York from Monique, was also there.

My only question is how do they make the model’s shoes look so small?

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