"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

 

Comment

Kevin Sampson

The fact that Kevin Sampson is not just a film critic, but a writer, producer, and director as well makes his understanding of cinema even better. Coming from a theoretical and hands on approach, he understands both sides of the struggle of viewing and creating great works. After receiving an MFA in Film & Electronic Media from American University in Washington, D.C in 2011, Kevin took his love for film to the next level by creating and producing Picture Lock, an entertainment website, podcast, and hour long film review TV show that runs on Arlington Independent Media’s public access station in Arlington, VA. The show covers new releases, classic films, and interviews with local filmmakers in the DMV area. He is also a member of the Washington DC Area Film Critics Association and African American Film Critics Association. He is currently looking forward to filming his first feature film in the near future. He believes that film is one of the most powerful art forms in the world, and he hopes that he can use the craft to inspire others and make a difference in it.