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IN THE STEPS OF RAF SIMONS

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Dior and I , the documentary directed by Frederic Tcheng will premiere on the 17th will premiere at film of the Tribeca Film Festival in New York, looks back at the seven weeks that formed Raf Simons' debut at the house of Dior.

It's the eve of Raf Simons' first haute couture show for Christian Dior, on the 1st July 2012, and we are at 30 Avenue Montaigne in Paris. In an atelier under the eaves, the dresses are undergoing their final touches and, later, the familiar sound of a champagne cork popping attracts the petites mains to the studio. It's time to draw breath. After seven intense weeks, Raf Simons confides: "Thank you for having welcomed me into your family." The viewers are the lucky witnesses to the birth of a new flower-woman, a homage to the woman who saw the light of day at the presentation of Christian Dior's very first collection, on the 12th of February 1947. The director Fréderic Tcheng - who also co-directed Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has to Travel , released in 2011- was there for the reinvigoration of the traditions and the Dior spirit. From discovering the archives to rehearsals, it acts as a discreet immersion into the designer's new daily life. It's also an extraordinary record.

Going to Granville to visit the couturier's childhood home, Simons reveals that he hesitated in continuing reading the autobiography Dior By Dior  because he found the parallels so surprising between his experience and that of the founding couturier. In effect, the two men share the same passions: Raf Simons has always been attracted by the 1950s and the post-war creative context, the same era in which Christian Dior created his house and imposed its revolutionary language. Another resemblance: their love for contemporary art, with the designer passionate about the contemporary work of Sterling Ruby, just as Monsieur Dior, in his time, collected the drawings of Christian Bérard and exhibited paintings by Pablo Picasso in his gallery. And they both have a modern vision of woman, each in sync with his time.

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