2 posts tagged "Renoir"
For all his love of the social whirl and grand parties, Christian Dior was a man who prized nothing more than a garden retreat. As a boy, he picked up a green thumb and his lifelong love of flowers from his mother, Madeleine, whom he helped landscape the gardens of his childhood home—a belle epoque villa called Les Rhumbs, in Granville, Normandy. Of this house, Dior wrote, “My life and my style owe almost everything to its location and architecture.”
And so it was that at the tail end of a Couture season brimming with parties, the house of Dior whisked a handful of journalists off by helicopter to Normandy to visit Christian Dior’s childhood home and get a sense of where it all started.
Set on a bluff overlooking the Atlantic and what could only be called a Dior-gray sky, the pinkish-hued Les Rhumbs appears much as it must have when Dior was young—minus the tennis club next door. The hedgerow labyrinth mentioned in Dior’s 1957 memoir, Dior by Dior, remains, as do the pergola and garden furniture he designed himself. The Dior family owned the villa until the thirties, when financial hardship forced them to sell the house and all its contents. The designer never returned there, but his spirit remains: The gardens opened to the public in the late thirties, and sixty years later, in 1997, Les Rhumbs became home to the Christian Dior Museum. Continue Reading “At Home With Christian Dior” »
“The latest fashion…is absolutely necessary for a painting. It’s what matters most.” Edouard Manet said that in 1881. And his sentiment is at the core of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s latest fashion-centric exhibition, Impressionism, Fashion, and Modernity, which runs from February 26 through May 27 in the Tisch Galleries. Curated by Susan Alyson Stein, the exhibit presents a look at the role of fashion in works of the Impressionists, such as Manet, Monet, Tissot, and Renoir. About eighty major figure paintings—showcased alongside period costumes, accessories, photographs, and prints—highlight the relationship between fashion and art from the mid-1860s to the mid-1880s, when Paris emerged as the style capital of the world. The exhibit comprises eight galleries, each organized thematically. One gallery is devoted to outdoor scenes of leisure, in which women wore cotton piqué dresses adorned with scrollwork embroidery, while another focuses on the white dress, as exemplified by Renoir’s masterpiece Lise, in which he captures his nineteen-year-old mistress charmingly dressed for the country. Black silk gowns are also a focal point of the time period (when are they not?), as seen in Manet’s famous The Lady with Fans (above), and even menswear and accessories have their place in Impressionism.
“This gallery and the seven that follow offer a unique opportunity to consider the parallels of style in art and fashion that evolved over a twenty-year period as they came of age. But the show is timely and topical in terms of the conflation of high art and fashion,” said Stein during a preview yesterday. “Like the street photographers of today, [the Impressionists] were artists who wished to capture the look of the moment.”