the king of fashion

Ever since it was announced that Paul Poiret was going to the subject of an exhibition at the Metropolitan Musuem of Art, mainstream fashion mags have been going on and on about the importance and influence of Mr Poiret.

Because it's not any random hairy old exhibit, you understand, it's accompanied by the Costume Institute Gala this coming May, and as everyone knows by now, that's wear you go to see some excellent red carpet fashion. And learn something about the featured designer of course.

I don't mean that sarcastically by the way, I really enjoyed the 'Goddess' exhibit a few years back, the Chanel one told you everything you needed to know about Chanel in one comprehensive swoop, and last year's 'Anglomania' was a great look at fashion in the context of society.

I'm actually looking forward to the Paul Poiret one, namely because I know very little about the designer, and all descriptions of him seem somewhat hyperbolic, like this by the Met -

"In the annals of fashion history, Paul Poiret (1879–1944), who called himself the "King of Fashion," is best remembered for freeing women from corsets and further liberating them through pantaloons.

However, it was 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 secured his legacy.

Working the fabric directly onto the body, Poiret helped to pioneer a radical approach to dressmaking that relied more on the skills of drapery than on those of tailoring.

Focusing on his technical ingenuity and originality, the exhibition will explore Poiret’s modernity in relation to and as an expression of the dominant discourses of the early 20th century, including Cubism, Classicism, Orientalism, Symbolism, and Primitivism."

So, erm, I hope come May, the fog in my head about Mr Poiret clears a little.

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