Culture Vulture, our new scheme offering discounts on the latest shows and exhibitions in London, has spread its wings for an inaugural flight. Here’s how Carlly got on:
The other night, I went to watch Dior and I – a film delivering a rare peek behind-the-scenes at the haute couture department of Christian Dior.
The film opens with the new creative director Raf Simons, as he creates his first haute couture collection. Having started in furniture design and then ready-to-wear, this was a very different world to what he was used to.
As a viewer I could tell – from every self-comforting gesture, to every nervous glance he directed to the camera – he was demanding, highly-strung and direct with what he wants. When he needs a last minute alteration, he drives a frustrated premiere seamstress to devour Haribo – something I’m sure that we’ve all done at one point or another.
Couture is intricate and involved – every stitch, seam and dart is thought out with care. Prints, fabrics and shapes are especially created for these one-of-a-kind pieces. What’s a surprise though are the individuals who buy these pieces. Yes, celebrities borrow the occasional frock for an awards ceremony but the real clients are the patrons of the house. If they need a fitting, halfway across the world, or want dibs on an exclusive embroidered cape, then they receive it without hesitation.
It’s interesting to see the PR side as well. Dior’s PR manager spends many-a-scene with an expression of thinly veiled exasperation at the lack of media-awareness that Raf has. He balances on that thin line between doing what’s right for the Dior brand and caring about Raf’s feelings and thoughts. It’s a great example of how PR people need to be master multitaskers and pros at boosting a client’s confidence.
Finally, the sheer scale of the teams behind each piece is an eye-opener. An army of seamstresses, pattern cutters and embroiders fit into a warm but hectic Paris atelier. Everyone has specialties and incredible attention-to-detail. I’m definitely more high-street than high-end but I really appreciate and admire the passion it takes to create such labours of love.