When: Thu., Feb. 23, 7-9 p.m. 2017
When it comes to designers helming the world’s most revered fashion houses, shakeups are par for the course — and keeping up with who’s where feels like watching a high-stakes game of chess. After firing British wildcard John Galliano back in 2011 (based on his viral “I Love Hitler” rant in a Paris bar), the house of Christian Dior found its new leader in Raf Simons, a comparatively mild-mannered Belgian designer who launched his own menswear line in 1995 and became creative director of minimalist German luxury brand Jil Sander in 2005. Using the founding father’s eponymous 1956 memoir Christian Dior & I as a guiding light, French filmmaker Frederic Tcheng’s directorial debut Dior and I zooms in on Simons just after he’s taken the reins and is struggling to uphold the house’s legacy while creating his first-ever couture collection in a matter of eight weeks. Working with a crew of seamstresses and craftsmen — including some who’ve worked for Dior for 40-plus years — Simons ultimately rises to the occasion, infusing modern sensibilities and abstract concepts into the clothes and presenting them in a Parisian mansion quite literally covered with fresh flowers. Since the film’s 2015 release, circumstances for Simons and Dior have unsurprisingly changed. Just last year, the creative team at Dior remarkably produced a well-received collection without a creative director after Simons defected to become chief creative officer of Calvin Klein. A fascinating and refreshingly realistic look at the inner workings of an often-misunderstood industry, Dior and I screens as part of the McNay’s Get Reel Film Series “just in time for Paris Fashion Week 2017.” A wine reception (6:30pm) precedes the screening.