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  • 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:

    E.757-1954

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Physical description

Three ladies dressed in two fur- trimmed capes and a layered sheath dress.

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, lower left corner

Object history note

Paul Poiret was one of the most influential and notorious fashion 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 by Georges Lepape from Les choses de Paul Poiret vues par Georges Lepape Paris (France), 1911

Subjects depicted

Fashion illustration; Dresses

Collection

Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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