Last night, Dior and I — a documentary that offers a peek into the atelier of Christian Dior — premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival. Shot in 2012 by Frédéric Tcheng (Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has to Travel), it follows the newly installed Raf Simons in the eight weeks before his debut couture collection for the house.
In the film, the seamstresses — who have worked at the fashion house for decades — say the atelier is still haunted by Monsieur Dior, and Tcheng agrees. “It was very intense, shooting those night scenes in the atelier,” he told the Cut. “You could sense that there was a spirit there, and it was just us in the dark with the security guy, and there would be all these sounds of pipes, and it was just — you could sense a presence.”
This sense of a phantom force influenced Tcheng’s film, with its long, slow shots and a haunting voice-over of poet Omar Berrada reading Christian Dior’s autobiography — reminiscent of Resnais’s Last Year at Marienbad. “I was interested in this idea of what remains in the past and the present and how alive that is,” Tcheng said. “The idea of ghosts and spirits and cinema. All these questions have to do with the present.”