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Paul Poiret - King of Fashion

Sunday, 22 February 2009

Paul PoiretIn the 30s the French designer Paul Poiret released an autobiography called «King of Fashion». Years later the exhibition devoted to this celebrated designer of the early XX century was named the same. This exhibition is still current at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

In 2005 the Metropolitan Museum of Art acquired a significant number of stunning smart clothes at the auction that Paul Poiret created especially for his wife Denise. At present the exhibition «King of Fashion» displays not only these attires but also drafts of the designer and his art sketches requested by the popular French magazines.

It was Paul Poiret who introduced short coats to vogue and this trend was later happily developed by Coco Chanel, Christian Dior and other glorious designers. Thanks to Paul Poiret women quitted wearing girdles since this great master presented skirts for them with the high waist-line. And it was merit of Paul Poiret why fashion did not stagnate in the XIX century but made a step further, a significant step that brought it to the completely different stage, the texture of fabric changed, style and cut out became special, yet colors get brighter and motley.

The works by Paul Poiret express style and elements of what we will see in creations of the XX century designers. In 1911 he was considered the first designer who released the private perfume line. The perfume line was called Parfums de Rosine in the name of his eldest daughter. In 1903 he opened his own couture salon where his masters produced textile not only for cloths but also for house furnishings, from wallpapers to furniture. And Poiret was the first who realized to which extent a luxury and extraordinary attire for celebrated actresses is significant. Since it emphasizes the individuality of each person.

Altogether with his wife Denise he often arranged fancy balls. Thus, Poiret visited the well-known Diagilev «Russian seasons». The ballet «Cleopatra» was staged that time. And the designer was so much delighted by the magic Eastern atmosphere created by Lev Bakst that he immediately wanted to arrange a ball. A fancy ball in eastern nuances that he named as 1002nd Night Ball. The collection of Poiret himself included vivid various colors. And conservative French women will rush to change their wardrobe with caution at first and later on with a huge joy adding paints of Montmartre thereto.

Paul Poiret was the first to create plain cut and lines in fashion. However, it remained the follower of the classic style with its shine and luxury. And a little black dress by Coco Chanel was the most welcome; she proved that a woman can look luxuriously in her ordinary wear. After the First World War feminists and feminist like women appreciated this, of course.

Besides, Paul Poiret had never longed for the fame, he only created. Unlike the other well-known designers of that time who diligently sewed labels with their names to their own masterpieces, Poiret's collections remained nameless. Thus, many of his works of genius were stolen. Poiret was the first here as well; the first designer whose author's rights appeared to be violated.

A legend exists on this occasion. Once Paul Poiret wondered to know from Coco Chanel who was famous for the liking to black color, «Madam, why have you gone into mourning?» - «Because of you, messier», was the reply.

To some extent Coco's words appeared oracular. Poiret was forgotten for half a century. He was pressed by other designers, absolutely talented but more businesslike to some extent. Nevertheless, it is hard to deceive the history. The last hall of the exhibition of the «King of Fashion» displays a dress, the first black dress created by Coco Chanel that you should see and then everything gets obvious; yet, it is different from more luxury attires of Poiret. Such a cut of the dress could not origin from the XIX century, the century of crinoline and girdles, but exclusively from progressive ideas and «modern» collections by the King of Fashion, Paul Poiret. In opinion of Sally Singer, news director of ‘Vogue' magazine, «Prior to Pioret France remained to live in the XIX century».

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Jewell Love  - Fashion   |2011-02-17 14:36:12
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