A brief timeline of the Dior Toile de Jouy

I had a crush on the Dior toile de Jouy when it was first released at the end of 2018 beginning of 2019, the animals (tiger in particular), the detailed work of the tree leaves – The emblematic and romantic toile de Jouy pattern has been revisited once again by Dior latest creative director Maria Grazia Chiuri in Dior Summer’s Dioriviera collection for a couple of years now. Inspired from the 18th century red-and-white or blue-and-white design features ink-like vignettes on cotton or linen fabric, the pattern is bold, influenced by Rococo art while also remaining nostalgic and familiar, busy but monochrome, originally craved on woodblocks or engraved on copper, printed in one colour on cream background. Toile prints were a way to spread populist themes, political messages or help recording historic events like showing off France’s scientific advancement with scenes from the first hot-air balloon flight in 1784  and depiction of the Colonial expansion with sailing ships landing on tropical islands.

The Jouy factory was started in 1760 by a Franco-German, Christophe-Philippe Oberkampf. Toile de Jouy originated in Jouy-en-Josas, a town outside of Paris, in the late 1700s. The preferred fabric became cotton as it was cheap and easy to care for, Christophe-Phillipe Oberkampf created original designs in collaboration with the designer Jean Baptiste Huet. 

Oberkampf’s knowledge of science and technology of textile printing was groundbreaking at the time; and was employing a thousand workers amongst which Female workers accompted for one-third to one-half of the total workforce despite earning almost half the pay of male printers. Really fascinating how these issues are still relevant today and sometimes highlighted by Chiuri in previous Dior shows.

Christian Dior, since the opening of his flagship on 30 avenue Montaigne, decided to use the toile de Jouy as a background for the furnitures – this design was L’Escarpolette (“the Swing”) on a cream background, and sepia drawings illustrated by Jean-Baptiste Huet et reproducing a Jean-Honoré Fragonard painting of a woman on a swing in a bucolic atmosphere aimed at creating a dream-like and calm atmosphere for his customers. Actually, when I was picking up this scarf from the boutique last year around my birthday time, the sales associate explained some of the story of the toile de Jouy in relation to Christian Dior and found this truly fascinating.

I just love when there is a story behind the clothes that I wear; an heritage. I know modern luxury means a lot of slogan tee and white sneakers with huge logo on it and if that is what you love to pay for and wear that is more than fine, but personally I do enjoy the heritage more than a big logo anyday.. I love fashion when it is art you can wear… quite literally!

The Swing by Fragonard

Sources

https://www.teenvogue.com/story/diors-swimwear-toile-de-jouy/amp https://www.britannica.com/topic/toile-de-Jouy https://patternobserver.com/2014/09/23/history-surface-design-toile-de-jouy/ http://patriciaknoxdesigns.com/past-and-present-toile-de-jouy/ https://www.behance.net/gallery/80626317/Dior-Toile-De-Jouy-(2019)

I do not own any of the photos on this article apart from the featured image.

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