“I want it to look really easy, like I did it in a couple of minutes,” says Swedish illustrator Mats Gustafson about his renderings of Dior’s collections in his new book, Dior by Mats Gustafson (Rizzoli). “But it’s never like that.” With a complex blend of minimalism and sensuality, of abstract shapes and vibrant colors, he brings to life the bold and feminine spirit of the venerable fashion house.
Gustafson steps into a role made famous by René Gruau, whose friendship and creative collaboration with Christian Dior began in 1947 with the premiere of Dior’s “New Look,” which emphasized a woman’s curves. But where Gruau was known for using storytelling in his pictures, Gustafson prefers to dig into the essence of a single image, infusing each illustration with a sense of purity. Modern and elegant, his drawings are in keeping with the fashion house’s legacy of design—from Christian Dior to Raf Simons and now today, with Maria Grazia Chiuri as the first female creative director in its 70-year history.
In Dior, readers can enjoy the spectral glow of Gustafson’s illustrations, which deftly convey how the allure of Dior has endured, and why we will continue to proclaim, “J’adore!”