The romantic eloquence of this documentary was simply breath-taking and given it was all about the atelier (French word for “Workshop” or “Studio” used by an artist or designer) of Christian Dior, it was no surprise the style of this movie was done in this setting, however just how well it was done was certainly a perfect tribute to Christian Dior and his legacy.
The documentary opens with flashes of old video, sketches and pictures from when the fashion empire was first created and unveiled to the world. It was a time where the grace and femininity of women was celebrated and reintroduced into the world after a time of war, where practicality was previously required of the time. Christian Dior clearly felt the fashion world needed to be changed and with his vision – it did.
The movie captures the essence of the House of Christian Dior from the very first scene and captures you throughout the movie, to give you the total insight to the core of the brand. With the introduction of a new Creative Director – Raf Simons, it takes you through the start of his journey, showing his first six weeks and having to also create first haute couture collection in this time, with help from his ‘right hand’ Pieter Mulier and the dedicated and talented employees throughout the various collections and departments.
Raf and the Dior team work tirelessly around the clock to prepare the Haute Couture Fall-Winter 2012 collection for the runway and shows the development of a new brand and face to the atelier.
The collection is inspired by art and shows the natural connection to the essence of the Dior DNA, through brush strokes and movement of the two worlds. It was described as “feminine meets art aggression”, which is very much an aspect to be seen to be believed and admired.
A point of difference seemed to be apparent from previous collections, where the sketches of the show are laid out by the two Premiers – and the teams would take the sketch which appealed to them the most. The theory behind this is they will do a better job if they are passionate about the design, which certainly showed on the runway.
The overall aim was to have a radical approach to modernize the brand, with twelve concepts being created for couture with designers of the house receiving a file with the concepts and they start the sketching process. From there, 150 to 200 designs are created with Raf selecting 3-4 from each to showcase.
The dedication, perfection and detail throughout the movie is clear, with Raf’s motto being “Never give up until the first girl goes on stage” – a sentiment which rung true in this campaign and saw the Dior seamstresses working until 2am the night before the show and getting through the days with candy.
It is evident throughout the movie that the staff connection and roots to the brand run deep, with certain employees being there for between 10 and 32 years! The affection they have for the brand and overall workmanship was even unable to be explained in words- the emotion and lack of words in this respect were telling. The concept of ‘My Dior’ seemed to have truth for the working staff internally.
Raf discusses through his Dior journey of a few weeks about the perception around his style being seen as a minimalist, however he disagrees and wants to be seen as anything but that, particularly with the Dior brand. The media and press commitments portrayed from Christian Dior’s perception was nervousness of being judged, and interestingly Raf seemed to share the same thought process, with the raw emotion of the weeks coming to a high on the morning of the show to no surprise. The moments captured were quite awe-inspiring really as you could feel the soul, passion and raw drive in each of Raf’s breaths on the big day.
The movie show’s also shows Raf making the journey out to Christian Dior’s home, and the movie provides commentary around the house being pink and grey which these were the designer’s favorite colors for inspiration, which came from his original childhood home. The plants and gardens were also noted to be a major inspiration within the Dior Empire, which also portrays a very strong feminine touch.
The final runway was exceptional to say the least and showcased Christian Dior’s love of flowers and garden inspiration – with the walls filled with over one million flowers: delphiniums in the blue room, orchids in the white room, mimosa in the yellow room just to name a few! It was a masterpiece in its viewing alone, and with the garments being flowed through the room, just added to the overall brilliance of this runway.
The movie overall was fantastic and really showed the essence of Christian Dior, his atelier and the creativity of Raf Simons and his team.
My overall impression of this movie to sum up in a few key words would be colors, edginess, art and elegance combined.
Enjoy the world of Christian Dior!