Dior and I | Thoughts on Fashion and Art

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In my Media and the Art of Fashion Design class, we watched a documentary. Dior and I follows the journey of a man named Raf Simmons as he works on his first fashion show as the new creative director of Dior.

This is my second year study Fashion Media, and I remember watching this same documentary the first year. Since then, this major and I have had a complicated relationship. Fashion Media is the main reason why I wanted to go to SMU since it touched on a mixture of social media, design, journalism, photography, and more. But since being in the program there were times when I wasn’t content with it so I added a Journalism major as well as a Graphic Design minor.

Sometimes I don’t like telling people I’m studying fashion. I feel like in the academic world or even the world in general, fashion isn’t taken very seriously. I remember the first few classes I took that involve fashion and how I struggled to take it seriously as well. Why are we talking about purses for an hour? Why does it matter that we write about which coats are in season? Why does any of it matter? I wanted to get back to the Journalism side of my studies. I wanted to do some real reporting and investigation about “things that matter.” I started to wonder if there was some truth to the stigma of fashion being frivolous or shallow. But watching this documentary reminded me that fashion was everything but that.

Examining a company like the House of Christian Dior really takes one back to the art in fashion. The fact that fashion is based on art, is art, and needs to be seen as art.

One of my favorite things about the documentary is that it highlights the masters that are involved in every step of creating this art. We are able to watch the genius of every seamstress cutting and sewing, the designers sketching and re-sketching, and the creative director carrying out his vision. And what better way to see all this than through the forming of a couture collection.

Couture is such a difficult magic.  The gown alone is a constant in the history and culture of humanity. So how does one take that and apply it to the zeitgeist of our strange today?

On top of the fact that Raf Simmons had to create something beautiful with some of the highest standards of quality in the world, but he must be respectful to Christian Dior himself while bringing the name of Dior into a new era.

Yes, it’s a movie about people making clothes. But it’s also so much more than that. You can see the struggle of old and new as well as the pressures of everyone watching and expecting as you pour your soul into your art. Watching every little step in the process of creating something so high-profile as a Dior couture show is inspiring to say the least. Anyone who, like me, forgets about the art in fashion, should spend some time with the story of Dior.

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