Poiret

( 1 )

Overview

In the annals of fashion history, French couturier Paul Poiret (1879?1944) 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, that secures his legacy.
This essential book is the first to explore Poiret?s radical modernity from a number of perspectives. Essays by renowned scholars ...

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Overview

In the annals of fashion history, French couturier Paul Poiret (1879–1944) 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, that secures his legacy.
This essential book is the first to explore Poiret’s radical modernity from a number of perspectives. Essays by renowned scholars describe the historical context of his work; its relation to the dominant artistic discourses of the early 20th century; his muse, Denise Poiret, and her influence on his work; and his role in the paradigmatic shift to a new ideal of feminine beauty. Poiret’s entrepreneurship, his creation of an atelier to extend his influence beyond fashion to the art de vivre, and his relationship to the workshops of the Wiener Werkstatte are also discussed.
Poiret’s innovative creations are represented by colorful pochoirs (stencils), personal photographs from the Poiret family archives, and newly commissioned photographs of Poiret’s masterworks.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal

Koda and Bolton, who both curate at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, offer the catalog raisonné to a recent show on French fashion designer Paul Poiret (1879-1944). (In 2005, the museum acquired a number of Poiret designs auctioned by his widow.) Containing personal photographs from the Poiret family archives as well as newly commissioned photographs of the designer's work, the catalog opens with an introduction by Nancy J. Troy (modern art history, Univ. of Southern California). This is then followed by scholarly essays by leading art and design historians exploring the many facets of the couturier's work. Poiret liberated women from the corset by creating tunic dresses that draped from the shoulders and harem trousers based on orientalist fantasies. His fashions-rendered in bright colors and made of luxurious fabrics-were like wearable works of art, and they appealed to such wealthy and artistic clients as actress Sarah Bernhardt, dancer Isadora Duncan, and heiress/activist/artist Nancy Cunard. A handsomely designed book with beautiful illustrations, this tome is recommended for academic and art libraries that collect books on fashion and design.
—Sandra Rothenberg

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780300120295
  • Publisher: Metropolitan Museum of Art
  • Publication date: 5/29/2007
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 1,094,681
  • Product dimensions: 12.00 (w) x 14.70 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet 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.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 2, 2007

    Marvelous!

    Mr. Koda and The Costume Institute scores with this lovely exhibition catalog! While not as lavish or sumptuous as The Philadelphia Museum of Art's 2003 Shocking! The Art and Fashion of Elsa Schiaparelli by Dilys Blum (at this juncture the absolute gold standard for Costume exhibition catalogs) this remains nonetheless an absolutely gorgeous volume. A perfect counterpoint if you will, to the even more lavish 1987 Rizzoli volume Poiret by Yvonne Deslandres. The current Poiret is a feast for the senses, especially, if you were unable to visit the exhibition in-person. You shan't be disappointed. A note about Rizzoli: In the decades of the mid 1980s and early 1990s this publishing house offered some of the most beautiful volumes devoted to the great couturiers. If you haven't already acquired them, I highly recommend each of them. The first was the aforementioned Poiret, followed with Christian Dior by Francoise Giroud in 1987 Balenciaga by Marie-Andrée Jouve and Jacqueline Demornex in 1989, and Vionnet by Jacqueline Demornex in 1991. Hopefully, Rizzoli is commencing such a series once more with the November publication of Lanvin! As the revival of long-dead haute couture houses continues, of late with Vionnet (as yet another ready-to-wear venture) in addition to the aforementioned volume, I also recommend the spectacular Madeleine Vionnet by Betty Kirke published in 1998

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