Tuesday, 23 November 2010


Here at Rookie Creative, we are big fans of Somerset House and having previously visited Maison Martin Margiela ’20’, I wondered down the river last weekend to visit Dior Illustrated: Rene Gruau and ‘The Line of Beauty’. The exhibition celebrates the work of fashion illustrator Rene Gruau (1909-2004), who created some of the most instantly recognisable and enduring fashion and beauty images of the twentieth century. Galliano has described Gruau’s illustrations as capturing ‘the silhouette and spirit of Dior and a new era of fashion and femininity.’ Chronicling Gruau’s career at Dior, which lasted for over fifty years, the exhibition contains a variety of original images from the artist’s back catalogue. These feature alongside Dior Haute Couture gowns chosen by Galliano himself, vintage perfume bottles and specially commissioned pieces inspired by the illustrators artistic legacy. The variety of images serves as a fitting tribute to Gruau’s long relationship with the house, with illustrations inspired by everything from Dior’s favourite flowers to the ‘man about town.’ The Christmas cards designed yearly by the illustrator for Dior’s couture customers were a particular highlight, as they are more a piece of art rather than a season’s greeting. Set out in the airy embankment galleries, Gruau’s powerful images (all drawn before digital technology) are especially striking. The exhibition serves as a reminder of the power of illustration in the digital age; it is notable that Gruau remained a success even after the rise of photography. A visit to this exhibition is necessary for any fashionista and is the perfect way to spend a quiet Saturday morning.

Dior Illustrated: Rene Gruau and The Line of the Beauty runs from 10 November 2010 - 9th January 2011

Adults: £6, Concessions: £5, Under 12’s: Free. (Price includes a small catalogue of the exhibition)

Harriet Tisdall

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