Lately, my fashion inspirations circle around a somehow forgotten but powerful field in fashion’s imagery – illustration. Everything seems to be a lucky coincidence or some kind of unplanned procedure: - starting from the book which broaches the subject of fashion illustration, then a great telephone conversation with a fashion illustrator, and finally with Christian Dior’s Haute Couture tribute to René Gruau – the eminence in fashion illustration.

René Gruau, an outstanding artist with a versatile style based on line signature. He used to describe line as a root of art and significant feature capturing spointeinty, pace, emotions and many more:

“Just a line? But it is the basis of all art, with a single line we can express grandeur, nobility, sensuality, the line synthesises sensations and concentrates knowledge”, René Gruau
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Miss Dior
Fashion Illustration by René Gruau, Miss Dior perfumes, 1947
This illustration was the work initilizing fruitful and artistic cooperation of Christian Dior with René Gruau for the Christian Dior Fashion House
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“René Gruau, Original illustration of Christian Dior for cover of L’Officiel, October 1948
Brush drawing in ink, watercolour and gouache
Courtesy Galerie Bartsch & Chariau
Gruau’s work dominates high fashion magazines of the 1950s. His decisive, graphic outline always produced a dramatic effect. He was Dior’s favourite illustrator;”
Picture and passage from the book “100 years of Fashion Illustration”, p.158, Cally Blackman
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“René Gruau, Ensemble by Christian Dior, Femina, IV, 1949
Courtesy Museum of Costume, Bath
Dior deplored the demise of the hat, which he attributed to a reaction against those worn during the war. For him, a woman was not properly dressed without one.”
Picture and passage from the book “100 years of Fashion Illustration”, p.159, Cally Blackman
Worth-mentioning is the exhibition entitled:  “Dior Illustrated : René Gruau and the Line of Beauty” saluting René Gruau’s heritage to fashion that took place at Somerset House in London during 10 Nov 2010 - 9 Jan 2011. The curators of the event: Claire Catterall and Vincent Leret presented the deep insights and assuptions of the exhibition :
The basis of inspirations for the present Dior Haute Couture performance is probably conveying John Galliano’seducational background as a fashion illustrator and his love for beauty in motion. Galliano achieved some kind of fusion in illustration and real animation by rendering his designs with real dedication to René Gruau’s dynamic style in fashion ilustrations.

According to his inspirations, John Galliano notes: To be inspired by Dior is to be inspired by Rene Gruau. His sketches capture the silhouette and spirit of Dior and a new era of fashion and femininity. His illustrations are timeless, ever youthful, ever faithful to the moment he saw; they capture the energy, the sophistication and daring of Dior, and are equally a token of an enduring friendship”.

So did Galliano with the models by transforming them into the personifications of elegance and beauty in Gruau's style:

Christian Dior Haute Couture SS 2011

PART I
PART 2
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