Lina Lamont

"What do you think I am, dumb or something?"

Dior and I

Back from the film festival so that those who missed it needn’t make the same mistake twice, this fascinating documentary takes us behind the scenes in the lead-up to the launch of Christian Dior’s new haute couture collection.

With the fashion house’s new artistic director, Raf Simons, stamping his inaugural mark, the stakes are genuinely high as fabric is delayed at the screen-printers and clothiers work late into the evenings to meet their deadline. Bolstering our empathy for the bright young designer, the edgy, nervy score causes our own hearts to pump a little faster – an indulgent creative choice by filmmaker Frédéric Tcheng, but one that renders the film pleasingly exhilarating.

Perhaps the thrill also comes from our being plunged into a life in Paris that few will ever experience. From the seamstresses who have worked under the eaves in the House of Dior since they were 18 years old, to the ingénue models preparing for their first catwalk, interviews with the insiders disprove any accusations of snobbery and exploitation, and instead reveal ordinary people with a passion for their craft.

Dior and I joins a runway of superb fashion films, including Tcheng’s first feature Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has to Travel which delivered riveting insights into the life of that fashionista. Here he crafts a voiceover from Mr Dior’s memoirs, interposing archive footage with the contemporary story. Those who love a sumptuous tale of art, beauty and style will luxuriate in its telling.

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