Designer Desire: René Gruau

Mosaic of René Gruau illustrations | H is for Home

Count Renato Zavagli-Riccardelli, better known as René Gruau (1909-2004), was born in Rimini, Italy. He was probably the most well known fashion illustrator of his time – at least, his works are. Prolific in his output during his lengthy career, his work graced the covers and pages of fashion magazines such as Marie-Claire, Elle, Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar. He produced illustrations for a string of haute couture fashion houses; most famously Dior, but also Givenchy, Lanvin, Balmain, Balenciaga, Elsa Schiaparelli and Elizabeth Arden. He also designed advertising posters and other material for brands such as Air France, Martini, Cinzano, Du Maurier, Rodier, Blizzand and Fellini’s film, La Dolce Vita.

His work is widely available online, from original artwork and prints on Artnet and 1st Dibs to reproduction items on eBay and Etsy. A handful of books have been published about the man and his designs – available on Amazon.

Portrait of René Gruau

Additional image credits:

Christies | Gruau Collection

The Return of Glad Rags

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Colourful vintage ladies fashion

We don’t actually have a ‘Glad Rags’ section in our web shop any more. When we did last year’s re-design, we thought that the layout looked better with one less department so we sacrificed it in the name of web design harmony. For that reason we tend not to pick up much vintage fashion these days, but sometimes we see pieces that are hard to resist… like this colourful trio that we bought during the week.

Green vintage coat by André Peters for Louis Feraud

This gorgeous knee-length green coat dates from the sixties. The colour is fabulous and the zig-zag stitch detailing mirrors the angular collar shape. It’s by Andre Peters for Louis Feraud and has a label to the inside.

Red vintage Jaeger leather jacket

The red leather jacket is by Jaeger. The leather is lovely and soft – and the condition is excellent. We’re not sure when it dates from – 70s/80s maybe… but it has such a classic, timeless shape whichever decade it hails from.

Yellow vintage summer dress by André Peters

Last but certainly not least is the very sweet little yellow dress. As with the green coat it’s by André Peters. It’s the perfect thing for spring as the daffodils start to appear. Actually, Adelle was so taken by it that it mysteriously vanished after the photographs were taken!

Vintage Louis Feraud label Vintage Jaeger label Vintage André Peters label

She hasn’t got a yellow dress so perhaps we can turn a blind eye to the theft. But as she already owns about fifty coats, we’ll have to be stricter with the other two items.

Colourful vintage ladies fashion items

They’ll shortly be listed on eBay – click here for further details and bidding if you’re tempted.

Vintage Vogue

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Vintage Vogue magazine cover from February 1962

We bought a pile of vintage Ideal Home magazines recently. We were delighted with them in their own right, but in amongst them was a lovely copy of Vogue which was a real bonus.

Model wearing green Capri pants in Vogue Magazine, February 1962

It dates from February 1962 – and priced at 2’6!

Patent in Vogue Magazine, February 1962

These vintage Vogues are very collectable and it’s easy to see why.

Line drawings of hairstyles in Vogue Magazine, February 1962

The fashion is obviously the real draw – gorgeous clothes, shoes, jewellery, hair & make up from the era.

Kanyana fabric ad in Vogue Magazine, February 1962

Looks which still look very current over 40 years later!

Model with red top and lips and dusky eye make up in Vogue Magazine, February 1962

Model wearing a blue dress and hat in Vogue Magazine, February 1962

There are other great features – the fabulous new mini in its early years of production…

Mini car ad in Vogue Magazine, February 1962

…and introducing pasta – now arriving on UK shores!

Pasta article in Vogue Magazine, February 1962

There are some genius illustrations too – the header for Vogue Travel is good enough to frame.

Travel in Vogue guide in Vogue Magazine, February 1962

These vintage magazines really are a great read – snap them up if you see them… and take a second look in that dusty pile of National Geographics in the corner of the charity shop – there might be a vintage Vogue lurking halfway down!

What a spectacle!

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collection of vintage 1950s spectacle frames

We picked up an interesting little ‘job lot’ last week – vintage spectacles, which is a new one for us.

pair of vintage brown 1950s spectacle frames

They’re unused frames – still with original opticians labels from AJH Blackham, Drake Street, Rochdale – ready to fit your lenses of choice.

pair of vintage green 1950s spectacle frames

They date from the very late 40s/early 50s and have distinctive styling from the period. They must have been the latest thing when they were put on display.

vintage clear 1950s spectacle frames with pink rose motif

We’ll put them in our webshop soon – or perhaps our eBay shop might be the best place to sell them. Get in touch if you’re a big vintage fashion fan and are interested in these. It’s not everyday that unused, vintage accessories turn up so we’d like to give our regular readers first dibs.

Charity Vintage: Scrivens clip on sunglasses

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vintage Scrivens clip on sunglasses for sale on eBay for Charity in support of St Luke's Hospice, Sheffield
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I could have done with these vintage Scrivens clip on sunglasses a few times in the past few weeks. My reading glasses don’t have photo chromatic lenses so I had the choice between sitting in the garden to enjoy the sunshine OR sitting indoors to work on my laptop. There would have enabled me to do both.

They’re very reminiscent of the 50s & 60s – I can just imagine them being worn by Don Draper or Harry Palmer. They’re being sold on eBay for Charity in support of St Luke’s Hospice, Sheffield* and have a starting price of just £4.99.

St Luke’s Hospice, Sheffield cares for people aged 18 and above throughout Sheffield who have incurable illnesses. They aim to control their symptoms, alleviate pain and give them the best possible quality of life – all free of charge.