Hardcover with jacket, 50 b&w illustrations, 125 colour images. In the annals of fashion history, French couturier Paul Poiret (1879-1944) is known for liberating women from corsets and introducing pantaloons for women. However, it is Poiret's 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 twentieth 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 colourful pochoirs (stencils), personal photographs from the Poiret family archives, and newly commissioned photographs of Poiret's masterworks.
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