Thursday, April 18, 2013
Fine and Dandy
When it's proved to be one of those weeks (and I won't deny this is one, O Best Beloveds), sometimes all it takes at least to start to feel that little bit better is to spend a while looking at the alluring work of M. René Gruau.
Known more for his ultra-chic ladies, resplendent in New Look Dior, Gruau (born, you know, the Count Ricciardelli delle Caminate) is almost equally adept at turning out very fetching gentlemen. His swooping, calligraphic lines, so free and yet so precise, are somehow particularly attuned to bringing life to a very specific kind of urban type, cosmopolitan and good humored; his men all seem to be variations on the type that dear Mr. Ethan Mordden has immortalized in his own persona: The Cocktail Dandy.
Here we see an especially example, looking very dapper in his Ben-Day jacket and cap, his discreetly arched brow promising at the very least an amusing afternoon out - ending perhaps in a quick drink at one of those quiet little bars over on the East Side, on the edges of Covent Garden, or in the shadow of the Opéra Comique. After that... who knows?
And after a trying week, isn't that an awfully attractive prospect? Much pleasanter, you know, than reality just about now. But that, I think, is point of disappearing, now and again, into le monde de Gruau...