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Fashion plate

  • Place of origin:

    Paris (published)

  • Date:

    1911 (published)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Georges Lepape, born 1887 - died 1971 (artist)
    Paul Poiret, born 1879 - died 1944 (designer)
    Maquet (printer)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Callotype, letterpress, line block and pochoir

  • Museum number:

    CIRC.267-1976

  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level C, case MB2C, shelf SH38, box GG85

Physical description

Design for two evening gowns. Two ladies wearing long evening gowns and turbans stand on a tiled terrace overlooking a garden. One woman wears and orange turban and dusky pink dress with beading detailing, the other a blue-gret turban and blue two-piece? dress. The sleeves and hem of skirt are edged with black fur, and the skirt is patterned all over with a lattice of small white abstract flowers and leaves.

The patio has blue and white tiles and edged with a white tiled wall on which stand several pots with succulents. In the garden is a circular pond over which some fireworks are going off. There is a rose lying on the patio.

Place of Origin

Paris (published)

Date

1911 (published)

Artist/maker

Georges Lepape, born 1887 - died 1971 (artist)
Paul Poiret, born 1879 - died 1944 (designer)
Maquet (printer)

Materials and Techniques

Callotype, letterpress, line block and pochoir

Marks and inscriptions

Georges Lepape
signed on plate in blue ink, lower right hand side

Dimensions

Height: 31.8 cm, Width: 28.2 cm

Object history note

This fashion plate by Georges Lepape depicts two women in simple, slim-fitting evening gowns with minimal decoration designed by Paul Poiret (1879-1944). Poiret was one of the most influential and notorious designers of the late 1900s/early 1910s. His gowns followed the natural line of a slim, uncorseted body, which is clearly shown in Lepape's illustration, although many women still had to resort to longline corsets to achieve the same effect. Compared to the elaborately detailed and constructed gowns that many fashion designers produced, Poiret's designs were audaciously simple and bold, and sometimes quite far-sighted. For example, his 'robe de minute', a gown made of two rectangles of fabric, was created in 1911, 10 years before near-identically constructed chemise dresses became widespread (see T.118-1975). Lepape's illustration shows the model's heads simply wrapped in turbans, in contrast to the elaborately arranged coiffures that many fashionable women favoured. Decoration is minimal, with the pink dress decorated with linear rows of embroidery or beading round the sleeves and mid-way down the skirt, and the blue dress made from two different fabrics and edged with black fur on the hem and sleeve ends. Poiret often used fur as an edging or design accent.

Poiret's success was short-lived, as his influence did not last beyond the 1910s. Although he continued designing into the 1920s and created gowns for Liberty's in 1933, he failed to recapture the success and notoriety he had enjoyed in the 1910s.

- Daniel Milford-Cottam, January 2012

Descriptive line

Print (Design for two evening gowns) by Georges Lepape from Les choses de Paul Poiret vues par Georges Lepape Paris (France), 1911 (limited edition number 261).

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Taken from Departmental Circulation Registers: 1976-1977

Subjects depicted

Fashion illustration; Dresses

Categories

Ph_survey; Images Online; Fashion plates; Fashion; Prints; Clothing; Women's clothes; Evening wear; Europeana Fashion Project

Collection

Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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