Paul Poiret

PAUL POIRET

(1879 – 1944; France) Poiret was the first designer understood in the modern sense.
His love for fashion began as a child, so soon has his first experiences in various workshops, including that of Cheruit and Doucet, where he honed his original personality. He is too innovative, and this cost him the job at the Maison Worth, but in 1903 opened his own business and decides to expose his clothing in the shop window (at the time it was not used for Haute Couture). He immediately deletes any constraint to the woman (such as the corsets and petticoats) to create a more modern, more “loose”, inspired by the empire style, which requires less material and fewer decorations than before. He Introduces bras. The hobble skirt are famous: skirt with train, tight to the knees that allow only small steps (in fact sometimes have a central vent for ease of movement). The front is decorated and lets just make out the shoes. Another novelty is the culottes.
He loves intense colors, such as green, purple, red (as opposed to the pastel shades of the Belle Époque) and fabrics are often shiny (since they refer to the Russian ballet). In ’10 launches a fashion that echoes the East, with skirts decorated with fringes, turbans, kimono sleeves, but most of all affects the jupe-culotte, that is pants for women to use at home (never seen before): this style will be his distinctive note.
Famous for his parties, he also advertises himself printing his first sketches and organizing fashion shows touring throughout Europe.
He deals with other areas, such as cosmetics and perfumes (he is the first to create a fragrance that is inspired by his style) and finally in ’13 success comes to America, where he is called “King of Fashion”.
During the war Poiret is facing a completely different world, which rejects the luxury he was used and for this reason and for a series of bad investments the designer begins to deal with the theater.
In ’25 another speculation that dare not be successful and he is obliged to sell personal collections, until in ’26 gives the name and retreats. In ’32 the “Chambre Syndicale de la Couture” subsidizes the opening of a modest activity, but not enough to restore his finances so that in ’44 dies in poverty.

 

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