Wednesday, 1 April 2015

REVIEW - DIOR AND I (FREDERIC TCHENG)


An accessible film about no more than it purports to be about, Frederick Tcheng's Dior and I is thoroughly watchable, and a valuable document of a defining moment in modern fashion history. Faint praise indeed, but praise nonetheless - there's nothing particularly wrong with Dior and I, not least since it seems to achieve all that it aspires to. In essence, this is an unashamed love letter to the house of Dior, profiled in reminiscences of its founder and in examinations of its current helmer. Tcheng deviates from this structure often, to focus on the house's ateliers. They are both welcoming and, within this film, welcome, though little is discerned of their construction process and the immense detail that goes into creating the most anticipated couture collection in years. Nor, in fact, is creative director Raf Simons' process delineated much, as Tcheng favours an approach that's as airy yet clustered as Dior's workrooms. For a definitive portrait of both Dior and Simons, Dior and I is piercing on neither figure, perceptive on neither's work. The clothes are the film's saving grace, and it's the unabashed joy that they inspire, not only in the audience at Simons' debut Dior show but in the ateliers, the filmmakers and the film's viewers, that elevates Tcheng's work. They fill in the blanks in his depiction of their creation, and, if nothing else, simply look stunning, even three years down the line. Simons found inspiration in the archives, in clothes, and Tcheng does too.