~Downstairs at the Savoy~
Dior and I
Not Rated; 90 minutes
In English, French & Italian w/subtitles
Anne-Katrin Titze, Eye for Film (excerpted)
Fragrant flowers of a long-gone boyhood, contemporary art and movie history set the tapestry of inspiration in Dior And I, while the shadows of forces pulling the business strings are never quite forgotten. Reflective, intelligent, and beautifully poetic, Frédéric Tcheng's documentary about a house and its ghosts in past and present is all you could desire from a film about fashion.
The haute couture ateliers of the House of Dior in Paris are haunted by the spirit of the founder, Christian Dior, who, in 1947, revolutionized the world of fashion with the "New Look". After the war, so Dior explained in his memoir, quoted in voiceover, women had enough of looking like soldiers with broad shoulders and boxy jackets, they longed to look like flowers, with "tiny waists above skirts that blossomed like corollas." 55 years later, portraits of the founder and his work still dominate the Paris ateliers.
Enter Raf Simons, the Belgian designer, often mis-labeled "minimalist" who came from furniture design, to menswear, to Jil Sander. Simons' initial eight weeks as creative director at the helm of Dior under pressure to produce his first ever haute couture collection in less time than ever are documented here.