I was thrilled to meet world famous fashion illustrator, Rene Gruau at his seaside home in Cannes, France. Later that evening, we joined him for a sole dinner at his favorite restaurant! What an unforgettable night!
Rene worked with all the French fashion houses but his most important connection was with the House of Dior through his close friend, Christian Dior. I love the illustrations he did for Dior.
I also adore the work he did for Bazaar, Flair Magazine, Bain de Soleil and even the Lido. He was obviously a man who lived life to the fullest, while seeking and creating beauty. He told me he always insisted on sketching from a live model. On the day I met him in 2001, although already in his 90’s, he had an incredible slightly mischivious and boyish sparkle in his eyes and Joie de Vivre literally radiated from him. There are many great books about Rene. Check them out at Amazon. My favorite is Gruau, published in 1999, written by Ulf Puschardt. It is now out of print, but used copies are available at Amazom.com starting at $485. It is definitely worth it. This book, filled with his illustrations is truly a collector’s dream. If you are in the market for an original Gruau, you must, must, must visit The Sylvie Nissen Gallery in Cannes at the Carlton Hotel. Sylvie and my friend, Yann de St. Sulpice are the Gruau experts! Say hi for me. Hum, suddenly I feel like making a quick trip to Cannes and the Carlton, for a beautiful floating sunny lunch of Salad Nicoise and Domaine Ott.