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An Artist’s Dwelling (15) – Rene Gruau

René Gruau (February 4, 1909 – March 31, 2004)  renowned fashion illustrator who is best known for an exaggerated portrayal of fashion design through painting. The highly stylized works are tinged with a glossy advertising or fashion magazine focus yet wholly timeless. His works also show hints of Japanese clean line drawings and Toulouse-Lautrec’s’s infamous, sometimes grotesque depiction of women in nightlife.

A couture woman in Gruau’s illustrations is as stylish in 1950 as she is today. They are elegant, sensual and cheeky.  They might also be dripping with frivolities and bits of superficial luxuries with a “devil-may-care” attitude.  During his lifetime, the artist was hired by major designers like Pierre Balmain, Christian Dior, Jacques Fath, Balenciaga, Elsa Schiaparelli, Rochas, Lanvin, Elizabeth Arden, and Hubert de Givenchy. I want to live in one of his vignettes; so let’s try below!

Rene Gruau - Repose

REPOSE, 1964, Gouache, felt pen and ink on paper
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Rene Gruau Fashion Lifestyle Items - poodles, bows, pearls, pillows and more! 


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An Artist’s Dwelling (13) – Riika Sormunen

Riika Sormunen is an artist, born in Helsinki, Finland in 1987 who is represented in Finland by Napa Illustrations.

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Riikka Sormunen via The Walkup

After the Show, 2011

Now, after a move from Germany to Canada, her macabre yet comedic artwork has been featured by The New York Times and Image.  The colors in much of her work are lively, even saccharine, yet the meaning is always a bit darker – maybe, a bit sarcastic.

Evoking the sensibilities of Egon Shiele – in her twisted and strangely posed, slightly sexual bodies –  her work also borders on the brink of fashion sketches and textile clippings.

Riikka Sormunen via The Walkup

Dark Waters, 2010

Sormunen started her career as an illustrator at the age of 19, when she was commissioned for her first magazine illustration job. Her work elicits the memory of chinoiserie and Japanese wood-blocking (especially her use of lines) – the details are flat yet multifaceted – the shapes are whimsical and contrasts in scale – the flourishes are oriental in style.


Riikka Sormunen via The Walkup


paisley rug // peacock square wood tray // normandy white tall tray table // aleah koury framed wall art // pop pink coffee cup // saddle strap lamp // anna chair // alvin glass ink well // princeton ottoman // virring rug 

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