Monday, October 1, 2018

Dior and his Decorators - a must have for any design library!

To this day Christian Dior's name is associated with all that is elegant despite his passing 61 years ago. The post-war period in which he was most active is personally one of my favorite times to study as the output of the western world's artists was at a creative peak (similarly the same could be said of the inter-war period).
Historian Maureen Footer has just released the book I have always wanted to read and it does not disappoint, Dior and his Decorators: Victor Grandpierre, Georges Geffroy, and the New Look.  While Dior may be a household name the artists working behind him, inspiring him, and sometimes providing him with his eponymous look aren't as well known.
 As a reader of this blog you are probably already familiar with Ms Footer's previous book, George Stacey and the Creation of American Chic (also a must have!), and this book picks up where that left off by delving into the most chic interiors of the 20th century.
On a side note, have you seen Ms. Footer's apartment recently published in Veranda Magazine September / October 2018 issue?  One of my favorite spaces to see published lately, Veranda is killing it; resubscribe one and all!
The book explores Dior's relationship with Victor Grandpierre and Georges Geffroy.  These two designers created a sophisticated Parisian style for the mid-century which was not modern but rather an updated neoclassical French style based on the 18th century. Roots in this work can be seen in the most sought-after designers today such as Michael Smith.
Dior had these gentleman design not only his own homes but also his shops, advertising, packaging, and even his logo!  We can credit Grandpierre with developing 'Dior grey' used with pale pink accents, white mouldings, and Louis XVI style furniture.
The book also explores the work of these designers elsewhere and in their own Paris apartments - not to be missed!
One will recognize the bold-faced names that float through the book and leave you wanting more- Yves Saint Laurent, Gloria Guinness, Daisy Fellowes, the Baron de Rede and even Maria Callas - perhaps a 2nd volume? I'm anxiously awaiting Footer's next work.
While this fascinating book is chock full of information it reads conversationally and not like a boring textbook. You'll definitely want to spend time pouring through this book and not just look at the pictures unlike some recent 'design books'. This one is a keeper, bravo Maureen Footer and the Vendome Press!
Images in this post are courtesy of Vendome Press, not my own, and are not to be used without permission.