Fancy dress costume, 1911
Paul Poiret (French, 1879–1944)
Seafoam green silk gauze, silver lamé, blue foil and blue and silver coiled cellophane cord appliqué, and blue, silver, coral, pink, and turquoise cellulose beading
The Met says: Poiret’s “The Thousand and Second Night” party revolved around a fantastic evocation of the East. For the occasion, Poiret required his 300 guests to dress in oriental costumes. Those who failed to do so were given the choice of leaving or outfitting themselves in Persian-style clothes designed by the couturier, including the highly controversial “harem” trousers that formed part of his spring 1911 collection. Poiret thus used the occasion of a private party, staged as a cross between an elaborate fashion show and an extravagant theatrical performance, to promote his latest creations.
Denise Poiret, who played the role of the “favorite” to Poiret’s “sultan,” endorsed her husband’s “harem” trousers by wearing them under a wired skirted tunic. Two years later, in 1913, Poiret launched this crinoline-hooped silhouette in a theatrical production of Jacques Richepin’s historical drama,Le Minaret, to be quickly followed in Poiret’s fashion collections of the same year. A fancy-dress costume worn in the privacy of an exclusive party became the prototype for a “minaret” or “lampshade” tunic worn in a theatrical production. Thus publicized, the silhouette was then modified for the fashion public.
I feel like I am going to owe everyone an apology because I’ve stumbled upon an older folder of mine with nothing but dresses designed by Callot Soeurs which are relevant to the posts I have done today. So if you will all bear with me I’ll move onto something new tomorrow. Which needs to probably be Edwardian since my folder is MASSIVE.
I’m fond of this piece because it’s very liberating AND its from 1910 which makes this Edwardian. (My Callot post is going to jump around with a few Edwardian pieces thrown in with mostly 20s.)
I love the oriental influence. Pop this Paul Poiret turban on from 1911 and I imagine you would be the belle of the ball! :D
It’s very Poiret-ish in style but it’s actually designed by the famous socialite and Titanic survivor Lucile, Lady Duff-Gordon in 1910
Fun fact: The dress sold for $35,850 (without buyer’s premium) at Doyle New York in November of 2004.
Very in vogue with the Orientalism theme that captured this period.
Call me weird but I LOVE this so much. It’s such a happy colour and I like how simple and complex it is. From a sewing point of view it’s not a difficult dress but keep in mind that drape is from wool. I think it’s so lovely. I love 1913 and of course I adore anything by Poiret!
Another beautiful Paul Poiret gown. This oriental dress clearly represented Paul Poiret’s distinctive eclecticism, has loose-fitting, not unnaturally tight.
In 1906, when the S-curve silhouette was still overwhelmingly popular, Poiret introduced high waist corsetless dresses. He shifted the fashion trend substantially from 19th-century dresses in artistic forms with excessive decoration toward innovative clothing that accentuated the natural beauty of the human body.
The 1910 is one of my favorite years in fashion. Many different trends manifest, the most beautiful designers make their la Grande Entrée. So many styles come in and out of fashion. I’d like to direct your attention to the early 1910s where one of the most provocative- and dangerous- fashion was born: The Hobble Skirt.
It was once noted that since men could no longer restrict women to the corset they created the hobble skirt to confine her movement.
The hobble skirt came into vogue in the years 1910-13 due to the Directoire-revival and Oriental obsession.
The skirts were so narrow that women were forced to take “tiny, delicate geisha-like steps.” Oddly enough even the Suffragettes who fought for the women’s rights wore this new restricting fashion.
"The tighter the better" became dangerous. Since the step was hindered by fabric or the leg-corset (of which I can’t find any extant examples) accidents were reported in newspaper daily. Falls resulted in broken ankles and wrists, fractures and in the case of Mrs. Van Cutzen on August 5, 1910 who fell from her electric car: death.
The accidents were so numerous that travel was hindered by police having to escort hobbled women across the streets, the Pennsylvania Railroad barred the wearing of the style on their trains and women fought for the right to have trams that they could climb up onto without tripping. There was a bill introduced to watch and regulate the width of the skirts and the newspaper continued to report the accidents.
But like most trends by 1913 the fashion world had moved on and abandoned the dangerous hobble skirt.
(Woman’s silk and tulle dress with hobble skirt, trimmed in fur, flowers, and rhinestones. Made by Cummings, St. Louis, Missouri, ca. 1910-1912.)