This 2014 documentary chronicled the first 8-weeks that menswear designer Raf Simons served as the new Creative Director for Christian Dior. In those 8 weeks back in 2012, he was tasked with designing, producing and showing his first women’s Dior collection. Staff introductions at Dior were quick, and then everyone went to work. The 8 weeks can be summed up as: Artist drapes fabric on a model; amazing skilled craftsmen (both men and women) read his mind and make an entire collection happen. There was scolding by Raf, followed by flowers. The collection came together due to the amazing skill and dedication of the inhouse craftsmen. Long hours were involved…for the craftsmen.
The unveiling of the collection before an audience of fashion critics and influencers, was the climax of the documentary. In the minutes before the show, Raf sat at a table on a balcony and cried with fear and self doubt to a friend, as the staff was scurrying around to make the show happen. Before the show, he had informed his organizers that he was too shy to take to the runway at the end of the show and be acknowledged by the audience. He flat refused to appear before the audience.
The venue for the show was an old vacant mansion. Here is a model approaching the audience-filled showroom, while in the background, the next model is ascending the stairs.
Raf’s vision was to cover all of the walls of the showrooms in fresh flowers. The aroma must have been overpowering.
The scene moved to the showroom, where the guests were all seated and the fashion show was underway. There sitting in the middle of my TV screen was Harvey Weinstein, flanked by young beautiful blonde women. His presence was sickening. His leer was gag inducing.
Before the show was over, and while the procession of models was still underway, the Raf who was ‘too shy to appear on the runway and be acknowledged’, darted onto the runway between models, and did a runway stroll, soaking in the crowd’s adoration. What an ending.
Taking my thoughts back to Dior HQ for a moment. What the craftsmen and craftswomen did to create garments and an entire collection, from the vague, rough drawings and drapings by the ‘creative director’, was simply unbelievable. I’d love to meet them and visit them at work. It was truly fascinating. For this, I recommend the documentary.
The documentary was filmed in 2012, when Raf was initially hired by the Dior company. Less than three years later, Raf had moved on, to the label bearing Calvin Klein’s name but now owned by another corporation.
Movie website: http://www.diorandimovie.com/