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King of Fashion: The Autobiography of Paul Poiret

King of Fashion: The Autobiography of Paul Poiret

by Paul Poiret


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Paul Poiret (1879–1944) led the fashion world in the first decades of the 20th century. His autobiography tells the story of the meteoric rise of a draper’s son to the “King of Fashion.” From his humble Parisian childhood, to his debut as a couturier, to his experiences during World War I, Poiret reveals all in this captivating tale, first published in 1931. His artistic flair, coupled with his remarkable and highly original cutting skills, enabled him to translate the spirit of Art Deco into revolutionary garments, and his memoirs bring this astonishing period to life. An astute businessman, Poiret describes the expansion of his fashion empire to encompass interior decor and the first designer perfume and evocatively recounts his extravagant parties, where guests paraded in his latest creations.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781851779611
Publisher: V & A Publishing
Publication date: 06/18/2019
Series: V&A Fashion Perspectives Series
Pages: 128
Product dimensions: 5.10(w) x 7.70(h) x 0.70(d)
Age Range: 13 - 18 Years

About the Author

Born in Paris, Paul Poiret established his own fashion house in 1903. The Metropolitan Museum of Art celebrated Poiret with a major exhibition in 2007.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Youth 7

My family

Bichette's funeral

The first automobiles

My games

The Exhibition of 1889

The Ecole Massillon

My first theatrical emotions

Umbrellas and how I loved them

Mme Chéruit

M. Doucet

Chapter II Chez Doucet 21

The Saleswomen


The revue at the Epatant

My first earnings

My first adventure in love

Chapter III In the Army 34

Chapter IV Chez Worth 38

The coronation of Edward VII

A Russian princess

Chapter V My Debut as a Couturier 43

The Rue Auber

Bernard Naudin

A clairvoyante

Mrs Asquith

Professor Akldar

Chapter VI My Influence 54

Le Minaret

Plus ça change


Paul Iribe

Georges Lepape


Dunoyer de Segonzac


Les Quat' Z'Arts

Chapter VII The Faubourg Saint Honoré 66

My garden

Capital punishment

Travels in Europe

Chapter VIII My Amusements 77

The Mortigny Club

Eschmann at the Embassy


Abel Truchet


My first pinnace

On board the Henriette

Chapter IX The High Art of Dressmaking 86

Industrial considerations

My mannequins


Chapter X The Decorative Arts 93

My travels in Germany

The creation of the Martine school

Raoul Dufy

The Exhibition of 1925

Chapter XI At Work 102

Henri Bataille

My occupations

The Comtesse Greffulhe

The isle of Tudy


The Russian Ballet


Chapter XII The Fetes I Gave 110

The Fête des Rois

The Thousand-and-Second Night

Boni de Castellane

Fêtes at the Opera and at Cannes

Chapter XIII The Pavillon du Butard 119

Ange-Marie Gabriel's Pavilion

Les Festes de Bacchus

Isadora Duncan

Max Jacob

Chapter XIV The War 127

Private Poiret, on the black list


Bordeaux and Clemenceau

Rheims and reams of champagne

Military tailoring

Court-martialled, and a negro colonel

Chapter XV In Morocco 139



Marshal Lyautey

A Pasha's hospitality

At Demnat

Chapter XVI Back in Paris: The Oasis Theatre 146

The shows I gave

The artistes: Yvette Guilbert, Bruant, etc.

The parties there

Chapter XVII In America 151

My criticism of and my enthusiasm for America

John Wanamaker

Yankee Art…??

Travel notes

Chapter XVIII My Lectures to the Americans 170

In New York

In Chicago

In Chickasha

In Los Angeles

Travel notes

Chapter XIX Gastronomy 185

Le Club des Cents

L'œuf du pêcheur



My collections


Dénouement fatal

Chapter XX The Philosopher 196

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