August 1, 2007

Poiret: King of Fashion

Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York • on view through August 5, 2007 •

New York, NY • I have always loved the Iribe and Lepape renderings of Poiret's ensembles, so it was a treat to see the actual gowns - with all their beautiful draping - in person. Many of the dresses on display were designed for Poiret's wife, Denise, and the exhibition explores her role as muse. Additionally, the exhibition makes the case for Poiret as a "prophet of modernity" not only because of his revolutionary approach to dressmaking, but his ability to successfully market his brand simultaneously across the realms of fashion, interior design and fragrance. The hand-painted perfume flasks for his Parfums de Rosine were a delightful surprise.

Left: to right Georges Lepape (French, 1887-1971), Hand-Colored Pochoir from Les choses de Paul Poiret, 1911; Georges Lepape (French, 1887–1971)"Serais-je en avance?" from Gazette du bon ton, 1912, gouache on paper (images from

On a related note, the Poiret inspired spread photographed by Steven Meisel in the May 2007 issue of American Vogue was utterly stunning.

Above: Steven Meisel, "Vogue: Fashioning the Century," Vogue (May 2007).