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Dior and I – Inside the Atelier

One of the most striking realisations when watching DIOR AND I is that Raf Simons would not have been able to create his first haute couture show, and one of the biggest fashion events of the decade, in isolation. Supporting him are the unsung heroes of the fashion world - the talented dressmakers (or Artisans) and dedicated group of collaborators in the Atelier (the French word for workshop), who turn Raf's vision into a sublime reality.

The 60 Artisans who work in the Atelier set the benchmark for craftsmanship in the industry, and they represent the beating heart of The House of Dior – a busy hive of creativity where designs and sketches are brought to life using elaborate hand stitching techniques such as catch stitches and picotage to achieve perfection.

What is clear is that the Artisans are as integral to Dior as the Creative Director- although the person in charge may change, the soul of the Atelier remains the same, guided by the spirit of Christian Dior.

Step inside the Atelier to discover some of the unsung heroes that make the magic on the runway. DIOR AND I is in cinemas now.

Pieter Mulier

Pieter is Raf’s right hand man, and the Studio Director at Dior. Pieter acts as an intermediary between the design studio and the Atelier, and acts as a interpreter for Raf – both literally (his French is much better than Raf’s) and aesthetically.

After studying architecture at the Royal Academy in Belgium, Simons invited Pieter to do an internship at his label, where Raf continued to mentor him on art and architecture, and Pieter learned about the fashion industry. When Raf went to work for Jil Sander, Pieter followed as the Director of Accessories for four years, eventually making his foray into womenswear when he once again followed Raf by moving to Dior.

Pieter is the breakout star of both the film, and in the Atelier. His wit and his quiet intelligence charm the Artisans, and his dynamic eye for design and his positive attitude are inspiring. It’s safe to say, we think he is ace #TeamPieter.

Monique Bailly and Florence Chehet

Haute couture is at the heart of Dior, and Monique (left) and Florence (right) are the talented Premières who keep the busy Atelier beating. Monique (or Mo) is in charge of the Tailoring Atelier, working with the lines and structure of jackets, trousers, and coats, and Florence (or Flo) heads up Fine Soft Dressmaking, which creates the stunning showstopper dresses that dazzle on the runway.

These savvy, funny and smart businesswomen hold the success of not just the Haute Couture department, but the whole House of Dior in their hands. Their positive attitude is infectious, and the wealth of knowledge they have is awe-inspiring! They manage and mentor up to sixty Artisans each, and represent the unsung talent who work in the Atelier.

HongBo

HongBo is one of the ‘characters’ in the film that the Madman team love the most! HongBo originally began his fashion career in China creating ready-to-wear clothing for his own brand. When he decided he wanted to progress his career by working in Haute Couture, he moved to France to study at the Ecole de la Chambre Syndicale de la Couture Parisienne, where he won a prize that included a six-month internship at Dior. His talent was recognised immediately and he was offered a full-time position.

Now he can’t imagine leaving Paris and the world of Haute Couture. A stylist in the Fine Soft Dressmaking Atelier at Dior, he specialises volume, and creates the most sublime and intricate ball gowns you see in the film and on the red carpet.

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Dior and I in cinemas NOW

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