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28.10.2010- Dior Illustrated

From November 10th to January 9th next year, Somerset House in London is playing host to an exhibition celebrating the iconic work of illustrator René Gruau, entitled Dior Illustrated: René Gruau and the Line of Beauty. Throughout the 40's and 50's, Gruau worked for a range of fashion magazines, including Marie Claire and L'Officiel as well as for design houses such as Givenchy, Balenciaga and Lanvin. Perhaps most famously of all, Gruau created a range of work for Dior, illustrating adverts for Christian Dior Parfums, as well as sketching pieces from the haute couture collections of the design house. He later went on to become the artistic director of advertising at Dior and, in a time where hand drawn adverts were still a prominent feature in fashion, Gruau's strong graphic style was vital in attracting attention to the brand. With Christian Dior, he also oversaw the genesis and marketing of the famous 'New Look', and undoubtedly contributed to the growth of widespread fashion advertising as we know it today.

You only have to look at the vital role that advertising continues to play in the fashion industry to see the legacy of Gruau's vision in action. In terms of his understanding of bold illustration as a tool for bringing innovative design to a mainstream audience, he remains unparalleled and his work has a unique style which perfectly encapsulates the aspirational appeal of high fashion whilst being both daring and engaging. By looking at his many famous illustrations, you really do get a sense of the vital role he played in the evolution of fashion, as his style and compositional ideas continue to be utilised today. I can't wait to visit the exhibition to see some of his beautiful work firsthand.

To find out more about the exhibition and to book tickets, visit

What do you think of René Gruau's work? Will you be visiting the exhibition yourself?

(Image credit: Google Images.)


  1. missing the time when illustrations were done by stroke and paint .... thanks for sharing, xx


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