100 Years Ago Today

A History Of Events And Happenings From Exactly One Hundred Years Ago

Fashion Designer Throws Lavish Party In Paris

Paul Poiret was born to a working class family in Paris, France in 1879. Apprenticed to an umbrella maker, he used the scraps of cloth left over from making umbrellas to make clothes for his sister’s dolls. He started selling designs to dressmakers and eventually to leading design houses in Paris. Poiret established his own house in 1903 and designed a ground-breaking kimono coat that broke free from the restrictive tight clothing that women usually wore.

Poiret’s kimono coat

Poiret was a pioneer of marketing and branding in fashion. He started giving lavish events to promote his designs. He expanded to furniture, decor, and fragrance when in 1911 he introduced “Parfums de Rosine,” named after his daughter, becoming the first couturier to launch a signature fragrance linked to a design house. Photographer Edward Steichen took photos of gowns designed by Poiret. This has been considered to be the first ever modern fashion photography shoot.

Steichen’s photographs of Poiret fashion
The first modern fashion photo shoot

On June 20, 1912 Poiret and his wife Denise threw a lavish promotional party called “Bacchus Fest”. Everyone who attended was to wear Roman costume.

Paul Poiret and his wife Denise at “Bacchus Fest” – June 20, 1912

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