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Dior Vernis Gruau G* 837 (Les Rouges Collection)

Dior Vernis Gruau G 837 Les Rouges Bottle

There’s something so comforting about Gruau G*. It makes me think of curling up with a good book (or in my case, an iPad…with occasional Twitter and Words with Friends sidetracking) and sipping on chai latte, the leaves outside transitioning for autumn from green to yellow to Gruau to brown.

Les Rouges collection was intended for Fall, but cozy, fuzzy feelings weren’t exactly Dior’s inspirations behind this lacquer. Named after René Gruau, who was a renowned fashion illustrator, Vernis Gruau G* is a tribute to his 1947 “Robe Ispahan” artwork and the red color prominently used in many of his sketches.

Rene Gruau Robe Ispahan 1947 Illustration
René Gruau “Robe Ispahan” illustration. Credit: Vogue UK

With the 20th century technology yet to arrive, Signore Gruau (he’s Italian) played a vital role as artistic director of advertising for Dior. His illustrations were the equivalent of glossy magazine ads of today that would influence sales in Haute Couture.

Rene Gruau Vernis Ad
1963 Dior Vernis magazine ad by René Gruau. Credit: attic PAPER

Gruau and Dior’s friendship began in 1947 with their first collaboration for House of Dior’s “New Look” campaign. It was so successful that Gruau continued to draw for the fashion house, even after Dior’s death. Monsieur Dior had said to Gruau, “Do exactly what you want. We speak the same language.”

Dior Vernis Gruau G 837 Les Rouges Swatch
Dior Gruau G* 837 swatch in indirect sunlight

Gruau G* is a brick red creme. Darker than Trafalgar in the same collection, but not dark enough to be considered a vampy shade, it is a mid-tone burnt-red with Dior’s usual hidden micro-shimmer that is barely visible under bright light.

I’d call this a “mature” color. By that, I don’t mean “old,” but more sophisticated and poised compared to a “sexy” red or a “happy” red like Trafalgar. Gruau made me feel instantly polished. (Pun intended.)

Dior Vernis Gruau G 837 Les Rouges Swatch Outdoor
Dior Gruau G* 837 swatch outdoors

It applies a bright red on the first coat, but it becomes opaque in 2 coats into a shade slightly darker than the bottle. I suppose color depth will depend on the thickness of the coat you use; I normally apply a thin fist coat, then a slightly thicker second coat. As you can see in the outdoor photo, the bright brown-red undertone is amplified under bright light.

You might be wondering about that “G*” after its name. It’s René Gruau’s signature. You can spot it on the bottom-right corner in the illustration and it is also on the bottom of the polish bottle next to the name.

Rene Gruau Signature
René Gruau’s signature. Credit: Wikipedia

Gruau G* is part of limited edition Les Rouges collection and is no longer available for purchase. Keep an eye out, though: Dior has recently promoted the collection on Facebook, which might mean they are bringing it back.

What do you think of Gruau G*? Do you like knowing the inspiration behind your cosmetics and other purchases?

9 Responses to Dior Vernis Gruau G* 837 (Les Rouges Collection)

  1. i really like this red on you!!:3 so pretty!!i agree with you, this color is mature, like classy :] i cant stand very very bright red on me but a darker red like this , sooo pretty & elegant :3

  2. I love this shade. I need a classic-ish red. xoxo

  3. This is amaaaazing on you!!!! I love the Les Rouges collection!

  4. I love this color. Wish I could still find it for less than $60!

    Just a note: If you’re not a hand model, then something is wrong with this world! You have to have the most beautiful hands and nails I’ve ever seen! Perfect! Have you ever done that or thought about doing it?

    • Hi Pook! Thank you so much for your kind words! I’m far from being a hand model but that would be amazing to do. Please know that I’m beyond flattered and smiling ear to ear. :)

      Have you tried Dior boutiques? They sometimes have leftover stock. I can ask my SA about availability, if you’d like!

      • No, I haven’t tried Dior Boutiques. What is the url? If you could ask your SA about this one, that would be great! I love red-browns. They come and go so fast, these limited edition colors!

        And BTW, you should, at least, inquire about being a hand model! You don’t know if you don’t ask/try! That’s what my Mom always used to say! :) You have very beautiful hands, and I’ve seen hand models (in ads) with hands not as nice as yours. :)

What say you?