“Dior and I” Documentary Is Worth the Ticket Price


Raf Need Not Worry about Christian Dior’s Shadow

Heading to the Film Forum in the South Village, I caught a screening Frédéric Tcheng’s Dior and I. On the train ride over, I’ll admit to a fit of nerves as I was afraid I might doze off during the documentary. It wasn’t because I thought it would be boring but because I was operating on little sleep and an aching body from some pretty intense fitness classes.

Thankfully, I was captivated from the first frame that began to show revealing moments of Raf Simons, the shy designer who had joined one of the largest, most respected fashion houses as its leader.

Simons, who joined the Dior family in 2012 as its creative director, had just eight weeks to pull together his very first couture collection for the brand. On top of that, there was the extra layer of this being his first couture collection.
Listening to Theophilus London’s “Why Even Try,” he croons a heartbreaking reality for many: “if you think you’re special, you’re probably not.” This would not be true for Simons. Despite voicing his concerns with interacting with the public (“I will faint,” he says in reference to his obligatory walk after the runway show), he still managed to appear likable despite his insecurities.

It wasn’t until the day of show that Raf finally seemed to be swept away by the magnitude of his new position. On the roof of the venue, his chin quivered as he fought back tears and he did so again while watching the show backstage on a monitor. Diane von Fürstenberg, the most chic woman on earth, let Raf know she seemingly only came to Paris for him. She was not the only to embrace and congratulate his victory. Marc Jacobs, Donatella Versace and Alber Elbaz were just some of fashion’s mega-names in the audience. I wonder if the nameless New-York-City-based client who demanded one of the atelier’s premières to come to her because she was unhappy with an order was in the audience. I mean, if I were to place a $40,000 order each season for my personal wardrobe as this woman was said to do, I’d expect a front row seat.

Unlike The September Issue which had a very clear breakout star (Grace Coddington) or Mademoiselle C which was obviously all about Carine Roitfeld, Dior and I did a magnificent job of sharing the spotlight onto Simons, Pieter Mulier, Raf’s charismatic right-hand man, the atelier’s premières, Florence Chehet and Monique Bailly, as well as other members of the team.

As the credits rolled, I was most curious about how the personalities of the new guard and the OGs have evolved since production wrapped. Has Raf been able to gel more with the atelier team? Is Pieter still with his boyfriend? Has Monique switched from candy to alcohol yet?


Now, listen. I’m no fashion expert and, despite bouncing in and out of this very industry since 2010, I couldn’t tell you what a random designer did four seasons ago. I’ll probably always mispronounce somebody’s name (sorry, Mark Seliger!), but that doesn’t diminish my fascination with this industry. There’s something undeniably thrilling about revealing the inner workings of a creative mind. Did we see the true Raf Simons? Absolutely not. This was, after all, a fluff film meant to further cement him as a mysterious talent. Even still, it was entertaining enough to temporarily make me believe there weren’t any vicious blow outs or arguments behind the scenes.

And for that, it was worth the ticket price.

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