On Sunday we headed off to Somerset House to catch the Rene Gruau exhibition. It was the perfect way to end a hectic weekend. If you haven’t had the joy of seeing this exhibition yet, we’d say that it is £6 well spent on the entrance ticket. You have until the 9th January, so be sure not to miss out on this small but perfectly formed inspirational exhibition.
Before we start getting over excited about the very talented Gruau, we’d like to take a moment to congratulate the Somerset House team on yet another stunningly collated and presented exhibition. The Embankment Gallery space has been transformed beautifully yet again. A treat even without the joy of the exhibition itself.
On to the wonderful Rene Gruau, friend and collaborator of Christian Dior through a very formative and creative period in the famous fashion house’s development. As soon as I stepped in to the exhibition, memories flooded back of really inspirational images that I loved as a (very young) child in the 70’s. I also saw images from fashion illustration books that I had fallen in love with and aspired to replicate when studying fashion in the 90’s. I just hadn’t joined up the dots before and realized that this was all the work of one very hard working and incredibly gifted artist.
From his first commission with the newly formed house of Dior in 1947, when Gruau illustrated the first Haute Couture collection, right through creating an unmistakable visual identity for many of the Dior perfumes, up until the 80’s when Gruau produced his final images for Dior’s men’s fragrance ‘Jules’, Gruau worked tirelessly to develop his own handwriting, keep current with the times, challenge the growing use of fashion photography and inspire legions of designers and artists in the process.
I’m sure you will recognize some of the images below, and there are many, many more to be seen at the exhibition. If you couldn’t tell already, I really enjoyed my Sunday morning at Somerset House!