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Poiret - Cher Monsieur, lettre de Paul Poiret (circa 1930)

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10 Fascinating and Fabulous Cultural Eccentrics

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Paul Poiret a modern French fashion designer, popular during the early part of the twentieth century.

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Aigrette: refers to the tufted crest of head plumes of egret used for adorning a headdress, in this case it is used to adorn a turban.

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Paul Poiret. circa 1913. In 1911, Poiret introduced "jupe-culottes" or harem pants. These full pants fell together almost as a skirt would and were worn under a tunic. This style was popular, primarily among women with bohemian tendencies, as most women did not yet wear pants on a regular basis. The same tunic could also be worn over a skirt, a style much more acceptable to the general public. The fashion press dubbed this the "Persian silhouette," in recognition of its supposed origins.

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Poiret harem pants in chiffon and sultana skirts with flower details, 1911. Both is wearing turbans. (inspired by Ballets Russes)

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Paul Poiret: French couturier, the most fashionable dress designer of pre-World War I Paris. Poiret was particularly noted for his Neoclassical and Orientalist styles, for advocating the replacement of the corset with the brassiere, and for the introduction of the hobble skirt, a vertical, tight-bottomed style that confined women to mincing steps.

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Paul Poiret - He designed flamboyant window displays and threw legendary parties to draw attention to his work; his instinct for marketing and branding was unmatched by any previous designer. (Though Poiret's designs were groundbreaking, his construction was not—he aimed only for his dresses to "read beautifully from afar.")

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