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Runway Collection featuring RenĂŠ Gruau


René Gruau was perhaps the most revered fashion illustrator of all time. Even once the camera took over, no photograph ever captured the moment as did Gruau’s brush. His career spanned seven decades beginning in the 1940s, and although the privileged world his work romanced had largely evaporated by his latter years, his style became only more appealing. Regarded by some as the father of modern advertising, his witty imagery conveyed whole worlds with seemingly simple brush strokes, blocks of colour, and the daring use of negative space. Little wonder that he was the illustrator of choice for the fashion greats – Balenciaga, Yves Saint Laurent, Lanvin, Hermes, Givenchy, Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar… the list is endless. However, it was René Gruau’s collaboration with Christian Dior for which he remains best known. Hailed as a visual poet, he played a significant role in building The House of Dior, which still uses his images to this day. Zinc Textile is privileged to bring the world of René Gruau to home furnishings and include it in its fashion inspired Runway Collection. The carefully chosen images are presented in three distinct quartets, and tell of Gruau’s signature themes… his alluring, couture wrapped sirens in Le Défilé, his concept of the suave modern man in L’homme Mysterieux, and the sexy connotations of the beach, reflecting Gruau’s own sophisticated life on the Côte d’Azur, in Le Pampelonne. The Runway Collection crosses the boundary between fashion and interiors like never before and so is a fitting context in which to present René Gruau. Designs taken from a fashion archive are printed on silk so fluid, they could hang in the wardrobe as well as at the window. Oversized bouclé weaves hint at the legendary Chanel suit and semi opaque chiffons float, ghost like, as a veil.

“ René had a marvellous sense of humour and love of life but, above all, he adored fashion and understood it as well as any of the great couturiers with whom he worked. He understood Christian Dior’s aesthetic perfectly and captured the essence of his uniquely feminine elegance with a line not only assured and strong but also sensitive and always witty. No other artist caught the carefree chic of high society life as René Gruau did. It is marvellous to have him back and available to people once more thanks to Zinc Textile’s Runway initiative.“ Colin McDowell – International Fashion Commentator 2


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with grateful thanks to‌ byronandbyron.com clarissaparish.com fionawilbraham.com thescreengallery.co.uk thesofaandchair.co.uk

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