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29-09-2006
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Silk lace dress with faux garnet beading. Attributed to Poiret, c.1922.

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29-09-2006
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Orientalism-style wool/satin coat attributed to Poiret, c.1914.

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21-10-2006
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Evening dress
03/1933
Satin and silk velvet, trimmed with diamante buckles

Paul Poiret (1879-1944) was born in Paris. He opened his own salon after serving an apprenticeship for Douçet and working for Charles Frederick Worth (1825-1895), the English-born designer whose Paris salon dominated French couture. Poiret was one of the most creative fashion designers of the 20th century. He also revived fashion illustration, founded a school for the decorative arts and even diversified into perfume. He led the forefront of the artistic fashion movement away from the curvilinear silhouette of the early 1900s towards a longer, leaner line. His brilliantly coloured, looser clothes, often inspired by the 'orientalist' enthusiasm for Eastern fashions and traditions, were extremely popular.

By 1933 Poiret was bankrupt and no longer in the vanguard of fashion. He was commissioned by Liberty's, a London-based shop, to create a number of designs for its Model Gown Salon. This elegant gown (one of the few from that collection to survive) is typical of 1930s evening attire. Made in bias-cut ivory satin, it plunges at the back, clings to the torso and gently flares below the thigh. The cascade of velvet ribbons and diamanté buckles focuses attention on the back.

vam.ac.uk
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21-10-2006
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Evening ensemble
1912
Silk chiffon and satin, embroidered with glass beads, and trimmed with fur

In 1911 the fashion designer Paul Poiret held one of his 'unforgettable' fancy-dress balls - 'The Thousand and Second Night'. He attired his wife in a 'lampshade' tunic over 'harem trousers', which subsequently inspired similar exotic creations, including 'Sorbet', comprising a skirt and tunic.

Paul Poiret (1879-1944) was born in Paris. He opened his own salon after serving an apprenticeship for Douçet and working for Charles Frederick Worth (1825-1895), the English-born designer whose Paris salon dominated French couture. Poiret was one of the most creative fashion designers of the 20th century. He also revived fashion illustration, founded a school for the decorative arts and even diversified into perfume. He led the forefront of the artistic fashion movement away from the curvilinear silhouette of the early 1900s towards a longer, leaner line. His brilliantly coloured, looser clothes, often inspired by the 'orientalist' enthusiasm for Eastern fashions and traditions, were extremely popular.

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21-10-2006
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Dress
1919-1920
Black rayon, embroidered with gilt strip, and machine-made lace over gilt tissue and black tulle

This dramatic gold and black evening dress, called 'Samovar', is composed of a figure-hugging, low-waisted bodice attached to a gathered lace skirt. The black rayon bodice is embroidered with gilt strip in meanders, and the machine-made lace skirt is worn over a double petticoat of gilt tissue and black tulle.

The designer Paul Poiret (1879-1944) was at his peak in the years before the First World War, but he remained a creative force in the 1920s.

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21-10-2006
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Day dress
1924 (Designed)
Fine flecked worsted, trimmed with rayon braid and tassles, machine-stitched and hand-finished

Paul Poiret (1879-1944) was born in Paris. He opened his own salon after serving an apprenticeship for Douçet and working for Charles Frederick Worth (1825-1895). He was one of the most creative fashion designers of the 20th century. He also revived fashion illustration, founded a school for the decorative arts and even diversified into perfume. He led the forefront of the artistic fashion movement away from the curvilinear silhouette of the early 1900s towards a longer, leaner line. His brilliantly coloured, looser clothes, often inspired by the 'orientalist' enthusiasm for Eastern fashions and traditions, were extremely popular.

The use of rayon trimmings on this garment is interesting. In spite of the rapid development in the 20th century of man-made fibres, couturiers tended to remain faithful to costly natural fabrics, with the exception of trimmings, such as the braid on this dress. Braid manufacturers were among the first bulk buyers of artificial silk, and were then joined by hosiery and underwear manufacturers. By the 1930s an increasing number of couturiers were attracted to the newly available and sophisticated rayon dress goods.


Although the donor of this garment to the V&A is anonymous, it forms part of the Cecil Beaton Collection, which was brought together by the society photographer Sir Cecil Beaton (1904-1980). With great energy and determination, Beaton contacted the well-dressed elite of Europe and North America to help create this lasting monument to the art of dress. The Collection was exhibited in 1971, accompanied by a catalogue that detailed its enormous range. The Musée de la Mode in Paris has a photograph of this dress (inscribed 'No 5521, Fev 1924', Model no.164).

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21-10-2006
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Dress
1911
Hand-sewn printed satin

This long evening tunic is made of white satin showing monochrome white motifs. It has a straight and rectangular shape and is sleeveless, with an oval neckline. It is lined with silk chiffon. Stitched inside the hem is 'Sac satin broché 1911 No 30'.

The tunic was described as a robe de minute ('minute robe') because it took only half an hour to make. The prototype was made in 1908. Paul Poiret made this dress for his wife Denise, for their European Fashion Tour in 1911. She wore it for their visit to Berlin. Consisting of a pure, simple rectangle of white satin, it was the avant-garde prototype of the chemise dress of the 1920s, making its first appearance ten years before its time. Madame Poiret wore it with the Dugy printed coat (La Peise) and a single grey pearl at her neck.

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21-10-2006
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Dress
1923-1926
Hand-sewn silk taffeta

This short day dress is made of checked silk taffeta in grey, coral, black and white. It is sleeveless, with a square neckline, straight bodice and waistline on the hips. Skirt panels are gathered on to the hip band, over a straight and longer black taffeta underskirt. Paul Poiret designed it between 1923 and 1926. The dress is part of a collection entirely made of checked silk taffeta of grey, coral, white and black. Poiret based it on the 'picture dress', a romantic alternative to the straight chemise dress. The 'picture dress' displayed a long, wide skirt attached to a fitted bodice, usually at a natural waistline. Poiret used it as the basis for a very modern day dress. This combined the outlines of the picture dress with a straight underskirt, made of stiffer fabrics and modern prints. To be in line with the fashionable waistline, Poiret dropped it to the hips.

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21-10-2006
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Mantle
ca. 1913
Hand-sewn yellow wool and black chiffon

This mantle is made of bright yellow wool and lined with black chiffon. Based on a deconstructed kimono, it is composed of two rectangles folded on the shoulders and joined on one side with a stylised bow. It illustrates how Poiret was able to combine with rare harmony the bold colours of Fauvism, the vision of Cubism and the exoticism of Eastern garments. The striking costumes of the Ballets Russes had made Fauvism fashionable.

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21-10-2006
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Thanks DosViolines, you always care to share with us

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22-03-2007
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Vogue Italia Unique Couture Supplement
March 2007
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Vogue Italia March 2007 thread

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22-03-2007
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US Harper's Bazaar April 2007

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22-03-2007
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23-03-2007
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MissMagAddict, have I ever told you how much I love you

I just wish I could give you more karma

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23-03-2007
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that silk velvet robe inspired by medieval costume is beautiful! love that so much. i also love that dress in n°51**

thanks lovely DV

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