Monday, 3 February 2014

On This Day in Fashion History...

...Fashion Illustrator, Rene Gruau Was Born.

Born Count Renato Zavagli-Ricciardelli delle Caminate in Rimini, Italy on 4th February 1909, Gruau took his mother's family name on moving to Paris in the 1930s.

He developed a love of sketching early and by the age of 18, he was already publishing his fashion drawings in Italy, England and Germany.

Combining classical restraint with free and expressive lines, Gruau created sensual illustrations that portray not just elegance but panache.

His style was the perfect complement to the 'New Look' of Christian Dior in the late 1940s, and the two shared an intimate working relationship.

Through his career in magazines, Gruau helped to characterise the graphic art of the 1950s. His resume featured positions at Harper's Bazaar, Vogue and Flair but his illustrations graced covers of fashion magazines the world over; his style shaped adverts and decorated all manner of pages. Through his own prolific work rate as well as the widespread reproductions that he inspired, his illustrative style defined an era.

Rene Gruau: 4 February 1909 - 31 March 2004
See more of Rene Gruau's work at

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