Did you know modern day use of polkadot is mainly attributed to Christian Dior and his New Look line? Talking about Dior, recently I went to see Dior & I a feature -length documentary of behind the seams of Raf Simons 2012 haute couture collection. His first as new artistic director. I was completely engaged on the story telling. It felt very intimate and honest. The best part was to see the inside of the haute couture atelier and the work of the première for the atelier flou (dresses branch: There is also a tailoring atelier). The film explores the personal bonds that form between the collaborators, their work, and the legacy of Christian Dior. Dior’s interview and thoughts with old footage are feed between the modern day.
Things that I leaned:
Art inspiration, design details are put into mood boards divided by categories (fashion magazines dissect this as trends like off the shoulders, asymmetrical hem etc). This particular collection had 12 categories.
Than the in-house designers sketch around 150 looks per category for the creative director edition process. He picks around three looks for each category to refine the style/fit. The art director it’s the one that sets the brief and tone for the collection. Raf was so sympathetic to the design history and archives but brought his own masculine style to a very feminine brand. Even his approach to no ‘nonsense’ shoes. Love it!
No sewing machine in sight. All beautifully made craft by hand. Once the drawings for the collection are decided, the première will take them to the team for construction. She asks who wants to make what. Her approach is to let each individual work on the design they love. Great motivation I would say. The atelier will make the patterns and many muslins until they get the shape right. Those muslins than get fitted on models by the art director. For me, the essence of the atelier are those dressmakers. Some of than working for Dior for over 20 years. They are the real brand identity.Haute Couture is funded by a few clients that can spent 350,000 euros a season. And the production will stop for any of the clients needs personal fittings. It’s truly one of a kind.
What inspired me the most is Raf’s use his art knowledge as an influence on the collection. Fashion can be so multi-dimension and easily cross section with other creative arts. His own insecurities plays against him at some points of the documentary but and its so relatable. We all doubt our talent when facing a new challenge.
If you fancy watching you can check Screening details worldwide.
There are a lot of films & documentaries about design/fashion. Is that something that interest and inspire you?
Do you use films as an inspiration?