This drawing was inspired by a photograph from the Christian Dior exhibit up at the Brooklyn Museum closing soon in February.
The show is eye-popping, starting from the revolving slides capturing the models from Dior’s live fashion shows to the designers that carry his legacy today to the unparalleled silver gelatin prints nailing Dior’s fashion genius in line and shape.
However, it is this particular photograph, (I believe the photographer is Henry Clarke, but cannot confirm. Horst P. Horst and Irving Penn were also well-represented), that I kept returning to because, besides showcasing the hat and dress, it also tells a story.
A beautiful woman, bedecked in jewels, wears a black off the shoulder dress with a soft plunging neckline exposing a hint of cleavage. She sits pensively, alone, at a banquette. The index finger of her right hand is perched sensually under her chin while her other hand guards her cocktail. Her eyes are shielded by the brim of her hat, but her gaze is directed to the uncorked bottle of champagne that tilts casually towards her from its ice bucket. The crown of her hat, a bed of roses, is reflected in the gilt-edged mirror centered between two lamp sconces placed on either side. She is framed by the floral vines that dance over the wallpaper.
Is she at the 21 Club ruing a love affair or coveting an afternoon of imbibement because as perfect as she is she hides a secret as an alcoholic. Or, perhaps, she is simply feeling joyful for this moment of solitary reflection. The narrative for me is the latter, albeit my drawing, emerged with a self-protected woman vs. a protected cocktail.