Dior and I

The fashion designer Christian Dior called himself a reactionary, whose lucky timing in postwar France let him liberate the boxy-shouldered women of wartime to revel in a blossomy, tiny-waisted femininity. That analysis may or may not be correct, but indisputably Dior built an à la mode empire, abetting Frédéric Tcheng’s latest contribution to ever-burgeoning field of fashion documentaries. It follows newbie Dior artistic director Raf Simons, erstwhile fashion “minimalist,” through the expedited creation and delivery of his first haute couture collection. So Dior and I seems like the movie equivalent of one of those glossy multi-page ad spreads that thicken up your favorite perfume-scented magazines. Or, at best, like an extended and extremely haute episode of Project Runway. Here, the pressure is (sort of) on not just to live up to a legacy and create spectacular clothes, but also to present them — which means seizing inspiration from the topiary grandeur of Jeff Koons, and navigating the logistics of lining a mansion’s walls with flowers. It’s fun to see them pull it off, and to see Simons, a broody Belgian, mingling with the humble multi-lingual craftspeople within his atelier. Going forward, a separate doc exclusively about undersung seamstresses would not be unwelcome.