This Collection of Dior Illustrations is the Year's Most Fashionable New Book

Illustrator Mats Gustafson shares his stunning collaboration with Dior.

The celebrated illustrator Mats Gustafson's new tome, Dior by Mats Gustafson, features more than 200 pages of gorgeous renderings of works from the house of Dior's last five years. But to hear Gustafson tell it, the legendary fashion brand's taste for artistic collaboration with artists goes back much further than that. "From the beginning, Christian Dior himself worked with the illustrator Rene Gruau, and he made iconic illustrations and remained very associated with the company," Gustafson says. "The company has a history of working with illustrators and I think that's why it works. So, for me, it's a wonderful opportunity."

Initially, the artist was commissioned to recreate designs for Dior's in-house magazine, but the strength of his work made a book celebrating the collaboration seem necessary. To hear him tell it, however, it was more than just a job. 

A Glittery Gown

The artist feels he and the house are an exceptional fit. "When I grew up in the 1950s and 60s, Dior was the definition of fashion," he says. "I grew up in Sweden, and even in the countryside where we lived I knew that. For me, it's still the ultimate in modernism and romance and embodies that today. It's incredibly inspiring to work with."

A Sharp Suit

The book focuses mainly on work from the last five years, but it does dip briefly into the house's storied archives with illustrations of pieces by Christian Dior himself. "That was extra inspiring—and fun—to work on. Some of them were made prior to the book, and some were made especially for the book," Gustafson says.

And while it was a thrill to investigate those classic pieces, Gustafson notes he's glad to have had a chance to work with more modern creations as well. "I got a chance to look into the archives, and that could be a book on its own, but with some of the iconic Dior pieces you know they're already the subject of legendary photography so drawing them can be tricky," he says. "I had to find my own iconic Dior."


The Red Coat Dress

Fit for the Ball

The Cover

This story originally appeared on
* Minor edits have been made by the editors.

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Adam Rathe
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