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Poiret (Metropolitan Museum of Art Publications) Hardcover – 4 May 2007
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About the Author
Harold Koda is curator in charge and Andrew Bolton is curator, both at The Costume Institute, The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Nancy J. Troy is professor of modern art history at the University of Southern California.
Top customer reviews
In 1909, he was so famous, Margot Asquith, wife the British Prime Minister invited him to show his designs at 10 Downing Street. It is said that the cheapest garment at the exhibition was 30 guineas, double the annual salary of a scullery maid.
Poiret's house expanded to encompass interior decoration and fragrance. In 1911, he introduced “Parfums de Rosine,” becoming the first French couturier to launch a signature fragrance. His salon was attended by the cream of Parisian society and the artistic world.
Today In the annals of fashion history Poiret is known for liberating women from corsets and introducing pantaloons into their wardrobes. However, it is Poiret's remarkable innovations in the cut and construction of clothing, made all the more remarkable by the fact that he could not sew, which secures his legacy.
Poiret began his career at the House of Doucet in 1898, where he learned business strategies critical to his later success. During his two years at Doucet, he dressed legendary performers like Sara Bernhardt. In 1901 Poiret left Doucet for the House of Worth. He established his own couture house in 1903.
Poiret clothing was often "Fluid" with no pinched waists and exaggerated posteriors. The colours and textures recall ‘Harems’ and ‘The Arabian Nights’ and were way ahead of their time, in fact given the right occasion you could wear many of his outfits today.
Poiret has been credited with liberating women from the strictures of corsets. He was not one to advocate that any woman become a slave to fashion and his diverse styles offered a wide variety of outfits to suit all tastes. He offered the radical idea that the truly stylish woman should wear what suited her most - even if it contradicted the prevailing trend. The diverse choices reflected his belief that women should dress according to their own body type, colouring etc
Poiret's major contribution to fashion was his development of the dressmaking technique known as draping a departure from the tailoring and pattern-making of the past. He was influenced by antique and regional dress, and favoured clothing cut along straight lines and constructed of rectangular motifs. This structural simplicity effectively established the paradigm of modern fashion.
This is a simply stunning book for lovers of fashion history, haute couture and beauty.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
So, why four instead of five stars? Because the text is good, but not superlative. Lots of good information about Paul Poiret, but I'd like to have had something that places him in the context of other designers--how they were influenced (if they were)and a livelier writing style--good fashion writing, even of the historical ilk, should be witty.
It is, as I say, a gorgeous coffee table book. These days, it sits on a side table next to my couch because the matte gold cover just looks so darn good. I would buy this book if I were an interior designer just for decorative purposes.
Additional to the dress illustrations are interesting articles on Poiret's world and some charming contemporary illustrations.
The color reproduction and general printing values of this book are exceptional.If you are a classic fashion enthusiast, this should be an obligatory purchase.
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