How Raf Simon's Debut Haute Couture Collection Took Shape

Karen Alfonso , 22 Apr 2014
New Dior designer Raf Simons looks at a vintage Dior dress from the documentary DIOR & I, directed by Frédéric Tcheng. Courtesy of CIM Productions
New Dior designer Raf Simons looks at a vintage Dior dress from the documentary DIOR & I, directed by Frédéric Tcheng. Courtesy of CIM Productions

As you know, John Galliano was fired from the house of Dior post his Anti-Semitic rant in a Parisian cafe. After months of speculation, Raf Simons took over the iconic French luxury brand. His debut Haute Couture collection was probably the most anticipated one in the history of fashion that had many of his peers attending in large numbers. His quiet minimalism was something that came as a breath of fresh air after the theatrics of Galliano’s outfits. Now there is a new documentary, Dior and I which gives us a ringside view of how this ethereal collection took place. Over a span of eight stressful weeks, he created a collection that usually takes 5-6 months to create. It was also interesting to note that SImons had never ever worked on couture.

Dior’s haute couture atelier discovers Raf Simons’ first sketches from the documentary DIOR & I, directed by Frédéric Tcheng. Courtesy of CIM Productions.
Dior’s haute couture atelier discovers Raf Simons’ first sketches from the documentary DIOR & I, directed by Frédéric Tcheng. Courtesy of CIM Productions.

The film reveals the inner workings of the house, from the creative processes of Simon to the seamstresses at the atelier. In many ways, this documentary is a tribute to them.

Dior is one of the few design houses that still retain the in-house ateliers: atelier flou for dresses and atelier tailleur for suits.

DIOR AND I director Frédéric Tcheng. Photographer credit: Jean-Jacques Poucel
DIOR AND I director Frédéric Tcheng. Photographer credit: Jean-Jacques Poucel

The film premiered at the prestigious Tribeca Film Festival earlier this month.

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