Poiret | The Rebirth Of Le Magnifique
During AW18 Paris Fashion Week, the “king of fashion” was reborn. After a 90 year hiatus, Poiret is back, continuing with the revolution that helped establish the brand as an important fashion and cultural movement.
Founded in 1903, Paul Poiret launched his fashion house after working for the “founder of couture” Charles Frederick Worth. Famous for freeing woman of their restraints and rejecting the corset, Poiret was one of the leaders of minimalism, choosing to cocoon women in elegant draping and fluid fabrics. Heavily inspired by the East and Ballet Russe in particular, he revolutionised Eastern dress for the Western woman with the introduction of his famous kimono coat and harem trousers, which in turn caused much controversy amongst the prudish society of the early 1900s. Amongst his flamboyant and theatrical designs was his invention of the “hobble” skirt and Poiret was quoted as saying he “freed the bust” and “shackled the legs.”
After being hailed as the most desirable dress designer pre WW1, the House of Poiret sadly shut its doors in 1929 amidst financial ruin from the war efforts. Many dormant fashion houses of the past have been brought back to life including Vionnet and Schiaparelli but Poiret has had the longest absence of them all.
Heritage fashion houses have excited the luxury-loving South Koreans for some time and seizing the opportunity to bring Poiret back to life, the trademark was acquired by Shinsegae International in 2015. Resurrecting the brand is a female-led team including CEO Anne Chapelle, the woman behind the rise of both Ann Demeulemeester and Haider Ackermann and couturier Yiqing Yin.
Designing in secret for over a year before it’s unveiling at AW18 Paris Fashion Week, Yin has revolutionised the brand for the modern age, referencing Poiret’s finest work. Yin is a draping expert, with a unique ability to create striking forms with fabric much like her predecessor. The collection looked back into his world of Eastern Promise, using printed jacquard pieces and kimono-style jackets that envelop the body. Oversized knits are cut off at the knee to create the iconic “hobble” for the next generation and fluid fabrics are draped and wrapped across the body. Yin’s clever construction and attention to detail have transported us back to the Belle Epoque, giving Poiret the recognition it deserved to retain.
A celebration of art and unmistakable craftsmanship, Poiret was at the forefront of innovative design back in 1903 and is back to continue its legacy by introducing its timeless beauty for a new era.
Date: 14th November 2018