The brilliant, amazing man Paul Poiret rightfully deserved the title of the emperor of Parisian fashion. According to his not quite modest confession (which is excusable for great talents), he “dressed the era”, the most beautiful and noble women of those times. Among his clients are all European, including Russian aristocracy, as well as creative personalities. And his contemporaries were Coco Chanel, Jacques Doucet, Charles Worth, N. P. Lamanova, etc.
Paul Poiret, biography: early years
The future great couturier was born in Paris in the family of a textile merchant. It is difficult to say what his childhood was like, because there is no reliable data. In his biographical book, P. Poiret pays more attention to dresses, sketches and hats, which already at that time occupied his mind and imagination. From a young age, he cut and sewed on his own for his sisters. Even then, the boy's talent made its way out and demanded recognition.
Paul Poiret grew up with three sisters, and one (NicoleGrult) subsequently engaged in the creation of dresses and even had her own fashion house in Paris. The second also gained fame, however, already an outstanding hatter. Despite his son's obvious passion for fashion and everything connected with it, his father did not want to take it seriously, so he insisted that the boy go to school. After graduation, he got him a job as a delivery boy for a famous umbrella maker. But soon Paul Poiret (see photo below) left the workshop. Taking pieces of silk fabric, he began to sew his first outfits for a doll that was once a gift to his sisters.
The beginning of the creative path
The future great master began his career with the work of the famous French fashion designer, collector and philanthropist Jacques Doucet, then there was the atelier of Charles Worth, where he was mainly engaged in the design and tailoring of outerwear (coats, capes). And already in 1903, Paul Poiret founded his own Fashion House. The success was truly lightning-fast and stunning, primarily due to the already acquired connections and popularity with noble clients, the aristocracy.
He actively promoted a return to the fashion of ancient times and introduced dresses in the form of tunics and peplos, and also offered Parisians a new, as they would say now, trend - kimonos.
Paul Poiret is a fashion designer with an emotional character, a bright and captivating nature. Without a muse, he simply could not exist. She became Denise Bule, whom he married in 1909. According to the confessions of the master himself, it was she whoembodiment of all ideals. A charming woman from the provinces surprised the townspeople, and her beauty was revealed in bright, unique and exquisite outfits created especially for her. Each of their publications turned into an event, a sensation. The couple was discussed by the press and society. Of course, there was a desire in their lives to shock the public, sometimes reaching the brink of scandal. It was during this time period that Paul Poiret (see dresses in the photo) gains fame as the most eminent couturier in the world, he is compared with the artist, creator, and new items are pouring, as if from a cornucopia.
The couple also became famous as the organizers of the grandiose costume parties that were held annually. Each holiday had its own theme, but the evening “1002nd Night”, held in 1911, was especially famous.
Unfortunately, not all beautiful stories have a proper continuation and ending. The couple divorced in 1928, when Poiret's financial well-being began to decline. What was the true reason for the separation after so many years, no one can say. However, in one of the newspaper interviews, Denise accused him of cruelty, and Poiret, in turn, called her behavior offensive.
Ethnic motifs in art
In 1910, after attending the ballet "Scheherazade" in Paris, Paul Poiret was so impressed that he could not pass by the charm and mystery of the East. For the first time, models with ethnic motifs appeared in his collections, and a year later he even organized a costume themed party."One Thousand and Two Nights" The couturier himself appeared in the form of an influential padishah. After such a grandiose event, oriental motifs in clothes took possession of secular lionesses for a long time. Bloomers and skirt-trousers, turbans - all this has turned from exotic into an outfit for an evening out.
Russian style in the works of couturier
For the first time, Poiret encountered Russian talents when attending a ballet that was applauded by all of Europe. Attracted by originality and color, he decided to go on tour in Eastern Europe, including Moscow and St. Petersburg. The eminent couturier was completely delighted with the Russian folk costume (lush sundresses, kichek, blouses, kokoshniks, scarves and shawls). He even brought some clothes with him to the fashion capital. Juicy, picturesque flowers and ornaments - all this Paul Poiret (dresses are shown in the photo) used to create the world's first collection of clothes with Russian motifs. It was called Kazan.
Armyak by Paul Poiret
In its original version, this element of the traditional Russian costume is understood as a peasant caftan with straight sleeves and a back that is not cut off at the waistline. Paul Poiret's coat is a stylized suit, sewn for the first time for his wife Denise. A dark luxurious fabric was used for it, emphasizing the originality and color of the Russian style.
Couturier's immortal creation
A modern woman's wardrobe is simply unthinkable without an elegant and sexy pencil skirt. Meanwhile, the history of its creation goes back to the beginning of the twentieth century. It was then that it was createdprototype - "lame skirt" year. Paul Poiret called it that way due to the fact that the narrow hem impeded movement, and women were forced to mince, moving in small steps. The lame skirt formed the basis not only of the pencil silhouette, but also of the godet, the famous and popular mermaid silhouette for evening and wedding dresses.
Books by P. Poiret
Despite fate and difficult life circumstances, in the 1930s, the couturier published three of his books: “Fashion and Finance”, “Dressing the Age” and “Come Back!”. All of them, in fact, are memoirs. Colossal works, which are a pleasure to read, a whole series of famous names, bright events against the backdrop of the dramatic history of the twentieth century.
Oblivion of the great fashion designer
From the 20s of the last century, capricious fashion trends began to change, and world political upheavals and war also affected this. In history, everything is natural, and some names are replaced by others. So it happened with Paul Poiret. Especially often among its competitors, the no less great Coco Chanel is mentioned. The fashion designer simply could not adapt to such a rapidly changing world, as a result of which he was forced out of the fashion Olympus. After 1925, he found himself on the verge of poverty and was forced to sell his workshop, collections of paintings and other art objects. He died in complete oblivion and poverty in 1944. And only a decade and a half later, the public again remembered this name - Paul Poiret. Sketches and surviving copies of designer clothes were exhibited by his ex-wife. Time took another turn, and, having gone through a terrible war, people wanted that forgotten, bright, unbridled beauty.
In 2005, more than six hundred different wardrobe items were sold from the personal collection of Poiret's wife and children. Some of the lots were accompanied by photographs from a personal family archive. Miraculously preserved items (not always in good condition) were sold to the world's famous fashion museums.
Paul Poiret is the king of fashion of the twentieth century, who gave women freedom in the literal and figurative sense. He made a revolution in the ladies' wardrobe, the first to offer to give up corsets, long braids, and try on trousers. The bright star of the talented master, unfortunately, did not shine for long, but his name is forever inscribed in history.