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Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.

Dior Illustrated: Rene Gruau and the Line of Beauty in Somerset House, London, United Kingdom by Gitta Gschwendtner

April 19th, 2011 by Sumit Singhal

‘Dior Illustrated: Rene Gruau and the Line of Beauty’ at Somerset House

‘Dior Illustrated’ celebrates the renowned illustrator René Gruau, who created some of the most iconic fashion images of the 20th century. This exciting exhibition showcases groundbreaking artworks including original illustrations for Christian Dior Perfumes, vintage perfume bottles, sketches and magazines, as well as a selection of Dior Haute Couture dresses.

Gauze close

  • Name of Project: Dior Illustrated: Rene Gruau and the Line of Beauty
  • Exhibition Design: Gitta Gschwendtner
  • Location: Somerset House, London, United Kingdom
  • Graphic Design: Studio Frith
  • Photography: Sorted

The challenge for the exhibition design was to create a spatially stunning environment for the predominantly two-dimensional works. Furthermore, the Embankment Gallery with its vaulted ceilings and stone coloured render required a design that complements its unique architecture.


Gitta Gschwendtner’s design solution creates a stunning installation of timber frame boxes covered in coloured gauze. These light three-dimensional structures form the main exhibition build for the hanging of the prints and object display.


On entering the exhibition the visitor encounters an 8 meters long gauze box containing a collage of Dior advertisements. This exhibit introduces Rene Gruau’s prolific work prior to seeing the original llustrations that form the basis for the advertisement prints upstairs.


Further along a large-scale installation of red gauze boxes showcases the exhibition title while introducing the concept of the transparent exhibition structures to the visitor.


In the main gallery gauze boxes are staggered in the space loosely following the shape of the vaulted ceiling. The transparent gauze creates layers of colour in the space, with each section custom dyed in a different shade to compliment the work. The precious couture dresses are dramatically lit behind a screen of grey gauze, protecting them from visitors touch and giving them an ethereal quality.


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