Effortless sophistication and timeless elegance are the hallmark of René Gruau’s fashion illustration. Filled with iconic full-page reproductions, detailed drawings, and biographical insights, this glorious celebration traces a career that is inextricably linked to the history of Parisian haute couture.
Before photography became the primary medium for marketing fashion, there was René Gruau with his pens, brushes, watercolors, and inks. Beginning in 1940 when he helped create the Miss Dior campaign, and for more than two decades, Gruau was at the forefront of fashion design. In addition to his long and fruitful partnership with Dior this book features sublime reproductions of Gruau’s work with luxury designers such as Givenchy, Balmain, Balenciaga, Lacroix, and Schiaparelli. It looks at the artistic influences—from Toulouse-Lautrec to Kabuki theater—that shaped his use of pigment and line and demonstrates how, with just a few strokes and a splash of color, he managed to capture the perfection of a woman’s hat, or make tangible a perfume’s alluring scent. A gorgeous introduction to French fashion’s golden age, this definitive volume is also an indispensable reference for anyone interested in fashion design, haute couture, and commercial illustration.
Joëlle Chariau, a renowned expert in the field of fashion illustration, is the editor of Drawing Fashion: A Century of Fashion Illustration, published by Prestel. She is an intimate connoisseur of René Gruau's work and has worked closely with him over years.
Holly Brubach is a widely published journalist whose work has appeared in the New Yorker, The New York Times, Vogue, The Atlantic, W Magazine, Vanity Fair, and Architectural Digest, and many other publications. She is the author of Becoming a Curator, A Dedicated Follower of Fashion, and Girlfriend: Men, Women and Drag. She lives in Pittsburgh, PA.