The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York is having an exhibit titled “Poiret: King of Fashion.” Time has not been favorable to Paul Poiret, a truly avant-garde designer, who at the turn of the 20th century has not only liberated women from corsets, but also ushered in modernism in fashion and created the first line of fragrances associated with fashion (a decade before Coco Chanel and Chanel No 5, one might add). Parfums de Rosine fragrance line, composed by great perfumers like Henri Alméras and Maurice Schaller, was as unique as his fashion designs. Poiret, unable to adjust to the changing times due to the political and economic upheavals, died in poverty, and his achievements have never been truly recognized, neither in fashion nor in fragrance.
The exhibit give a chance to understand the complex personality of Poiret as well as the intricacies of his fashions and presentations. After visiting once, I am planning to return again, because it was simply one of the best fashion exhibits I have seen. It is time that Poiret has truly received the recognition he deserved. Please see more information on The Metropolitan Museum website. The exhibit runs till August, 2007.
Advertisement for Rosine’s Le Fruit Défendu (1914) from 1000 Fragrances blog.