Wednesday, June 27, 2007


I was in New York this weekend, and went to the Met to see the exhibit of Paul Poiret, the fashion designer from the early 1900s. He was among the modernists, eschewing the corset in favor of more angular shapes, although because of his love of ornament, was often overlooked as a modernist and clumped in with the Orientalist movement. He was not a tailor, in fact he could barely sew a dress. His talent was in his ability to take a plain piece of fabric and drape it directly on the body, creating dramatic shapes. Coco Chanel worked in Paris at the same time, and her shapes were similar, yet the designers never saw eye to eye. At one legendary meeting, Poiret spotted Chanel in her signature black and said to her, "Madam, for whom do you mourn?" and she replied, "For you, monsieur." Here are just a few tidbits from the Met website (I was not allowed to take my own photos).

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