Christian Dior helped start day 1 of the Couture presentations with a bang. John Galliano was greatly inspired by Fashion illustrator René Gruau. And given Monsieur Gruau’s history with the house of Dior how could he not have been? Gruau and Christian Dior originally met while working at Le Figaro, the French newspaper, in 1936 and their friendship and work collaboration had Gruau creating illustrations for the House of Dior from 1947 until the 80s.
Gruau has been a personal favorite favorite illustrator of mine ever since I was in college. I fell in love with the bold, vibrant use of line, color and intriguing composition. The illustrations are almost delicious to me, with not a single line wasted. While I was on vacation in London I had the opportunity to catch the exhibit Dior Illustrated – René Gruau & the Line of Beauty at the Sommerset house. My greatest regret is that I did not purchase the exhibition book at the time thinking I could later find it on Amazon. Unfortunately I still haven’t been able to find it online.
Anyways, when I saw the Dior Couture show, I was delighted to be able to witness the way Galliano interpreted these illustrations into real life. With bold volumes, feathers, luxe iconic details and even similar colors I really do feel like the collection is almost has a cartoon/illustrated quality to it. Since I love Gruau, how could I not love this collection? Perhaps in my spare time I will try and create my own interpretation of these designs as fashion illustrations. I just thought I’d compare some of the illustrations to what came out on the runway. I love how even one of the hats sort of reflected Gruau’s signature G. Bravo Dior!