Paul Poiret

(1879-1944) Paul Poiret was one of the great designers of the 20th century. As a young man in Paris, he was apprenticed to an umbrella maker. By 1898 he was selling fashion designs, first to Cheruit, and then to Jacques Doucet. Before long, Poiret was working for Doucet as an assistant. He then briefly worked at the House of Worth

Poiret opened his own house in 1904. He very quickly began to change the direction of fashion. He straightened the hourglass silhouette of the Edwardian lady and experimented with bold colors and sensuous fabrics. His designs were exotic; the Russian ballet, Orientalism and African art as intrepereted by the cubists were typical influences.

Poiret's career was interrupted by WWI, and though he resumed designing after his military service, his postwar designs were not in touch with the 1920s woman. He lost control of his business in 1924, and it was closed in 1929. He died in poverty in 1944.
- Courtesy of the VFG Label Resource

Poiret: King of Fashion opens this week at The Met running through most of the Summer. However if you can't make it to New York, you can always satisfy your penchant for Poiret by picking up the accompanying catalogue book online here.