"Dior and I": Middleburg Film Festival Review

Director Frederic Tcheng explores a world that most of us have no idea about outside of the label or knock off we wear in “Dior and I”. It’s a film full of moments that are superficial at best. It’s also a beautiful look at what harnessing our passion, talent, and drive can create in our lives and the lives of those around us.

The film documents the struggle of Raf Simons as he becomes the newest Creative Director at House of Dior. It leads up to his first collection showcase that he only has eight weeks to pull off. (Usually the process is allotted four to five months.) Simons is extremely nervous about the process, as anyone would be, and imposes his high expectations on the people working under him.

While Simons is a ball of nervous energy on screen, the heart of the film is the ateliers and workers who tirelessly grind day and night to create the signature collections that so many people love. Dior has a low turnover rate, with many of it’s employees having been their for over twenty years. We’re introduced to many of the key members of the staff. The family environment that Dior himself created is seen and felt throughout the film and most of that is evident in this segment of the film. Yet as parallel stories begin to weave together and become one, we see the common thread of Christian Dior. His impact and vision both haunts and motivates everyone long after his death. 

In the days and hours leading up to the collection showcase, the pressure intensifies for Simons and the Dior employees. It’s in this moment that Simons breaks down and we see the human behind the mask. In fact, even during the showcase he bawls uncontrollably, and it’s beautiful! It’s a moment that anyone can relate to. The moment when you’ve put your all in to something and it comes together exquisitely; it’s an amazing feeling no matter who you are or what position you hold.

“Dior and I” is a documentary that allows a glimpse into the world of high fashion. In the wrong hands it would be a reality TV show that us regular folk point fingers and laugh at! Instead, it fights to push past the glitz and glamour to tell a universal tale of creativity at its best! 

Rating: B


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