I’m a fashion novice, however I found the expertly constructed documentary from Frederic Tcheng fascinating. Tcheng has clearly an insiders understanding of the fashion industry having previously co-directed Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has to Travel and edited Valentino: The Last Emperor.
The camera follows Raf Simons who in In April 2012 was appointed Creative Director of Dior. The film details the pressures and creativity required to deliver his first collection in eight weeks time. Simons adopts a radical approach to the project, and is an unlikely choice for the role having been classified a minimalist by experts in the industry, his appointment is received with a combination of excitement and scepticism with what will happen. Tcheng milks the outsider theme to great effect. Simons is clearly a complexx, multi-layered character who makes the ideal protagonist to investigate.
Tcheng uses archival footage of the legend himself Cristian Dior with his writings to bridge the two worlds of the past and present. What’s gripping is the way that Tseng has framed his narrative, Simon’s is an introverted, methodical, perfectionist, who as the film progresses becomes progressively aware of the immense pressure he is under. Simons is prickly however his assistant Pieter Mulier has a charm offensive that charms the seamstresses and tailors responsible for doing the hard work to deliver Simons vision. It is these tensions and the tight timelines that make the film at times utterly gripping to watch.