J’adore Dior

Glamour, glitz, couture and sophistication – perfectly encapsulates the Dior style. What girl hasn’t dreamt of being a Miss Dior vision – oozing luxury and Parisian elegance.

It maybe hard to achieve this look on a day-to-day basis (and budget), but from next week the House of Dior will be within touching distance.

By Rene Gruau

This Winter, Somerset House is hosting Dior illustrated – celebrating illustrator René Gruau’s lifetime work that showcases his iconic fashion and beauty images including over forty illustrations for Christian Dior parfums, poster adverts and even a selection of haute couture dresses personally selected by designer John Galliano.

Gruau and Dior had a fruitful relationship and a special understanding to create the elegance, energy and audacity of the Dior brand. It all started when Gruau drew the infamous Miss Dior illustration for the launch of the Christian Dior parfum in 1947. Dior from then on entrusted Gruau, who carried on his beguiling career after Dior’s death to influence a whole generation of fashion illustrators.

Claire Catterall, curator at Somerset House, says, ‘We wanted the visitor to immerse themselves in a world of Dior and understand the spirit of Gruau, but we also thought it would be nice to bring the exhibition up to date.’

Therefore, five UK illustrators influenced by Gruau were invited to created specially commissioned pieces that responded to the five themes captured in Gruau’s work.

Sarah Arnett draws inspiration from Gruau’s love of his garden, creating Dahlia the Flower Woman.

by Sarah Arnett
by Sarah Arnett

Daisy Fletcher’s theme A Share Vision draws on the spirit of Dior and Gruau’s friendship with La Belle.

Daisy Fletcher - La Belle
Daisy Fletcher – La Belle

Richard Kilroy’s, All Caught Up, looks at Gruau’s humorous depiction of men.

All caught up by Richard Killroy
All caught up by Richard Killroy

Mademoiselle ‘Shush’ by Erin Petson is influenced by Gruau’s portrayal of glamour.

Erin Petson
by Erin Petson

Leaning Woman, by Jasper Goodall picks up on Gruau’s use of bold shapes, silhouettes and negative spaces.

By Jasper Goodall
By Jasper Goodall

Design group Studio Frith has also created a special font for the exhibition in homage to Gruau.

Dior Illustrated: René Gruau and the Line of Beauty at Somerset House, London from 10 November 2010 to 9 January 2011

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