Saturday, 20 November 2010

Dior Illustrated: Rene Gruau and the Line of Beauty at Somerset House

A celebration of the renowned illustrator René Gruau (1909-2004), who created some of the most iconic fashion and beauty images of the twentieth century, the exhibition showcases artworks including over 40 original illustrations for Christian Dior Parfums, vintage perfume bottles, sketches, magazines and poster adverts. The show also features a selection of Dior Haute Couture dresses personally selected by John Galliano, including a special dress designed by Galliano himself in homage to Gruau.
Gruau’s bold lines and fluid style were perfectly in tune with the spirit of Dior, capturing the energy, elegance and audacity of the brand. His illustrations also tell of the special understanding that Gruau had of Christian Dior himself, born of a close friendship between the two men.
Dior and Gruau first met on the fashion desk of the French newspaper Le Figaro in 1936, where both men worked as illustrators. When Christian Dior launched the New Look in February 1947 it was to his friend that he turned to illustrate his Haute Couture designs. In December of that same year Dior launched his first perfume, Miss Dior, and asked Gruau to produce a series of illustrations. Thus began one of the most fruitful relationships in illustration history.
The exhibition also showcases work done recently to honour Gruau and Dior's style. The perspex lady above is a 3D homage. Really great exhibition. 

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