From Sunday February 15 to Saturday 28, fashion and art lovers will get the chance to see French artist Rose de Vauville’s first exhibition in Dubai, at 1x1 Gallery in Al Quoz.
Born in Paris, de Vauville was immersed in the world of art from a young age through her mother, an artist, and in the world of fashion through her grandmother. She later took courses in fine art in Paris, after which she joined fashion house Maison Ungaro where she learned about the world of fashion from couture to ready-to-wear and accessories. She later moved on to Balmain where she became studio director for accessories, followed a few years later by a move to Maison Guerlain, which she was attracted to for its heritage. Here she created a line of accessories symbolising the beauty of femininity, inspired by the know-how of this ancestral fashion house. Noticed for her creativity and sophistication, she later joined Christian Dior as head of silk work. For 15 years, de Vauville experienced this fashion house’s rhythm of highly creative collections, each orchestrated by the imagination of John Galliano.
Her exhibition features 20 works, each detailing a woman in black and white. Enriched with years of valuable cultural influence, de Vauville came up with her own creations, which focus on her favourite era and express her passion for the artists, fashion designers, photographers and illustrators of that time.
‘My creations evoke the golden age of French elegance between the ’30s and ’50s, a bygone world of Parisian art and high fashion, a whirlwind of dreams and creativity. The ladies of this period were symbols of beauty, elegance and sophistication. There is an outfit for a specific occasion and they are so full of character and emotion,’ says de Vauville.
Her inspiration comes from extensive travelling due to her career, which has provided her with an insight into a multitude of cultures from the furthest reaches of the globe, from ancient artworks in Japan to the traditions of silk craft in China and the colourful weaved textiles of Africa.
‘This chapter feels like the culmination of all of the experiences I have had in my life and career so far. My studies in fine art, my career in the world of fashion, my insatiable thirst for travelling and exploring new cultures have all shaped my perspective,’ she says.
Working in her studio in Paris, de Vauville first draws upon her favourite inspirations – photographers and artists Henry Clarke, Horst, Lillian Bassman, René Gruau, Jean Cocteau, Cecil Beaton and couture designers Christian Dior and Gabrielle Chanel – to create collages of black and white, mixing photographs of women with fabrics and accessories.
‘Picture the hats characteristic of the era crafted with a unique know-how from a multitude of materials – bird feathers, velvet, ribbon, pleated satin – forming cascades of flowers adorned with fur, fascinators with sequins or embellished with jewels,’ she says, giving us a glimpse of what to expect at the exhibition. As a design begins to formulate, de Vauville selects the finest materials – taffeta, chiffon, satin, jacquard print or embroidered silk – and crafts her piece by hand using many of the rare and historic techniques that she seeks to preserve.
‘The basis of each of my pieces is a photograph, but I enjoy going further to combine a large variety of materials into an overall collage. This is why I choose to work exclusively in monochrome; it reveals the richness of the various textures and how they harmonise with one another. Light and shadow interact in different ways and from different angles to bring life and personality to the work.’
She attributes her passion to the knowledge that there is always more to see and always more to find in life. Art lovers can share in her excitement by viewing or purchasing one of her works at the exhibition.
Rose de Vauville, February 15-28. 11am-8pm. 1x1 Gallery, Warehouse 4, Al Quoz (04 341 1287).