25 Jul 2012 0 comments

A foulard for René Gruau


Here’s an accessory that is worth pondering over. A foulard. Little more than a square meter of silk, yet so many stories to tell. Below, the signature clarifies to us that it’s Dior, but later we see another monogram. That capital “G” underneath the star is the autograph of René Gruau.

Thanks to him we have the portrait of the blonde woman winking, the elegantly dressed hand in a black glove clutching a rose. Of such women, all pleasure and elegance, René has designed thousands. Always with the same mastery, a miracle of colors and lines that has the purity of a Japanese watercolor. He, however, was very Italian. Aristocratic of name and in fact, Count Renato Zavagli Ricciardelli soon became René at the suggestion of his French mother. A very apt and prophetic move because it was France that kindled his fame as an illustrator.

In Paris he drew sketches, built set designs and enchanted with his posters reminiscent of Toulouse-Lautrec. Then, the encounter with the genius Christian Dior. The two immediately became fond of each other and began one of the most fruitful collaborations in fashion history. Galliano, whose misfortunes did not obscure the fundamental contribution to the home across the Alps, admitted that being inspired by Dior is a bit like being inspired by Gruau.

And this is where the circle on our precious foulard closes. An easy to wear T-shirt and denim shirt, unbuttoned ça va sans dire, will have very different taste when you tie to its neck a piece of history. The others may not even care, but you will. Because style is also culture and the ability to reminisce.

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