How Legendary Fashion Houses Of The Early 20th Century Are Reborn

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How Legendary Fashion Houses Of The Early 20th Century Are Reborn
How Legendary Fashion Houses Of The Early 20th Century Are Reborn

Video: How Legendary Fashion Houses Of The Early 20th Century Are Reborn

Video: Fashion History: 1900-1920 2022, December
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closed for different For some reason, legendary brands still hold great potential to attract new investors. So, the fashion house of the legendary Paul Poiret, closed in 1930, was recently put up for sale. Until November 28, prospective buyers can submit their bids through an online auction organized by the current owner of the brand, French entrepreneur Arnaud de Lummen, who successfully revived the Vionnet house in 2006 and relaunched the venerable French bag and suitcase manufacturer Moynat. Let's talk in more detail about him and about five more houses, the restart of which was long-awaited or, conversely, unexpected.

Paul poiret

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Paul Poiret is a follower and disciple of the founders of couture, the two main fashion designers of the 19th century: Charles Frederic Worth and Jacques Doucet. The first sought to abolish crinolines, offering to replace them with a skirt with a train, while Doucet quoted the art of the East and sewed the so-called home tea dresses. Poiret, who began his career in their atelier, continued to develop their ideas, and founded his fashion house in 1903.

Poiret freed women from corsets and became an important figure for the more relaxed femmes libérées. The couturier changed not only the styles of that time, but also the standards of female beauty. With the desire of women to look good in his dresses, the fashion for a slim athletic figure, not constrained by a corset, began - in 1905 he proposed a shirt cut for a woman's dress, and then outfits with oriental motives. In the wake of the overwhelming success of the Russian Ballet's tour in Europe with Diaghilev's production of Scheherazade, Poiret, a great admirer of theatrical art, began to introduce oriental motives.

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Bright colors, graceful patterns, wide trousers and tunics embroidered with gold threads, turbans decorated with pearls and expensive feathers were greeted with enthusiasm by European women. Among the clients of the renowned master was Isadora Duncan, who called him nothing but a genius. Another invention of Poiret is a narrow "lame skirt" (the so-called hobble skirt), reminiscent of a mermaid tail, which allowed to move only in small steps and caused a stir among customers. Wore it with a wide-brimmed hat with feathers. Paul Poiret is also the first fashion designer to launch his own perfume brand in 1911, named after his eldest daughter Rosine. In addition, Poiret was a marketer: he invented the design of the bottle, packaging and advertising himself.

After the First World War, interest in Poiret's work faded away. His models, symbolizing an eternal holiday, become irrelevant for the post-war period, and the Poiret brand does not compete with new fashion houses, including Chanel. Strongly reluctant to create simple clothes, Poiret was forced to close his house in 1930. Poiret spent his last days in poverty and died in 1944. Interest in Poiret's works revived in the 50s and 60s with the suggestion of his widow and muse Denise Poiret - the designer's vintage items began to rise in value, exhibitions of his work gathered crowds of admirers, and collectors bought everything that was associated with his name. But it will be possible to talk about a real revival of the brand only after the auction at the end of November 2014. According to its current owner Arnaud de Lummen, who calls the legendary closed brands "sleeping beauties", Poiret is so famous all over the world that he can attract investors even from markets that are still unknown to us.

Jean patou

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The history of the Jean Patou fashion house is full of ups and downs. Founded in 1912, the fashion house was forced to interrupt its work in 1914 due to the outbreak of the First World War. On the eve of hostilities, Patu managed to sell the last collection almost entirely to an American buyer and go to the front. The house of Jean Patou was reopened in 1919.As history has shown, the most significant changes in fashion (as well as in other spheres) occur precisely after the wars: seized with jubilation, people yearn for big changes. And Jean Patou became the personification of such changes.

It was Patu's clothes that became the basis of the wardrobe of the flapper girls of the 20s and aids in the appearance of androgynous silhouettes. Shortening the usual skirts to the floor, he was one of the first to parade women's legs and create not only beautiful, but also comfortable clothing, including sportswear: along with Coco Chanel and Elsa Schiaparelli, Patu worked on the creation of women's clothes for playing tennis. It was in his pleated skirt that the French athlete and champion Suzanne Lenglen won gold in Antwerp in 1920. As one of the pioneers of sportswear, Patu believed that innovative style lay in an athletic silhouette.

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Patou's pioneering ideas enjoyed great popularity among liberal Americans, shaking the stability of his business after the Wall Street crash in 1929. To survive the economic crisis, Patu was helped by another innovative idea - a perfume line that remains afloat for many decades: his most famous fragrance, Joy, is still produced today. Mark Bohan, Karl Lagerfeld and Jean-Paul Gaultier tried to return the former greatness to clothes under the Jean Patou brand in different years.

Christian Lacroix, who took over the leadership of Jean Patou in 1981, brought the company back to prominence and high profits. But this rise was followed by a rapid decline, and in 1987, after the departure of Christian Lacroix, who decided to found his own brand, the Jean Patou house was closed. 25 years after the closure, the brand was destined to revive again - the current vice-president of the house, Bruno-Georges Cottard, took over its resuscitation. True, it is still difficult to imagine how successful the brand will be, because, as you know, the historical heritage is not a guarantee of success.

Vionnet

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The history of the Vionnet house begins in 1912. The founder of the brand, Frenchwoman Madeleine Vionne, revolutionized fashion with her unique slanting cut of dresses, thanks to which the fabric lay in wavy folds, and the clothes perfectly followed the curves of the female body. Before opening an atelier, she, like Poiret, was gaining experience in the atelier of Jacques Doucet. Not knowing how to draw, Vionne created dresses that she built with the precision of an architectural drawing, draping fabric in a new way right on the mannequin every time: the couturier's paramount principle was to create clothes that fit the figure.

She was inspired by antiquity and Isadora Duncan's ballet attire, she wanted to abolish corsets and argued that the concept of the liberation of the female body belonged to her, and not to Paul Poiret. Although, most likely, the idea was just in the air: many fashion designers attributed it to themselves. In the 1920s, references to the East and Cubism appear in her works, she cites kimonos and creates geometric dresses from three basic shapes: rectangle, square and circle. Largely due to the fact that Vionne was one of the first to start hiring fashion models, the profession of models became prestigious. Models defiled without corsets, barefoot or in sandals. During the First World War, the business was curtailed and resumed on a new scale in 1922. Following the Parisian atelier on Avenue Montaigne, Vionne opened her own store in New York on Fifth Avenue, where ready-made dresses for clients were fitted to the figure. In 1929, the number of employees of the house reached 1200 people.

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With the outbreak of World War II in 1939, the Vionnet fashion house was closed. After 49 years, the company was bought by businessman Guy de Lummen, and in 2006 his son Arnaud de Lummen attempted to revive the former greatness of the brand. The Greek designer Sofia Kokosalaki, who is known for her drapery skills, was hired to work on the brand. She was then replaced by Marc Odibe with experience at Prada and Hermès. However, the art director Marc Odibe, hired for this purpose, could not achieve the task. The next designer of the brand, Rodolfo Paglialunga, who now heads the house of Jil Sander, also failed to cope with it.

In 2009, the fashion house from the de Lummen family was acquired by the heir to the Italian dynasty Matteo Marzotto, who had already relaunched Valentino in the early 2000s. In 2012, the brand was bought by Goga Ashkenazi and personally took over the designer's chair, inviting Hussein Chalayan to the couture line, who is also working on his own brand. Chalayan's vision is in many ways similar to Madeleine Vionne's style. “There are things that need to be created first and then sketched,” says Chalayan, who uses complex layered cuts and numerous draperies in his designs.

Schiaparelli

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The work of Elsa Schiaparelli, the founder of Schiaparelli and the creator of the concept of commercial ready-to-wear, Italian Elsa Schiaparelli, can be called reformist. Rival Coco Chanel changed her attitude to knitwear - her black knitted pullover with geometric patterns (from bow to skull) revolutionized fashion in 1927 and became a bestseller in America, where Elsa subsequently opened many boutiques. Along with Jean Patou and Coco Chanel, she developed the idea of ​​sportswear and ready-to-wear in fashion, showing tennis dresses, skirts, trousers, swimwear and skiing outfits in her Pour le Sport boutique in the late 1920s. She was also one of the first to use a zipper for her dresses. By the 30s, more than two thousand employees were working for it.

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Elsa is best known as a surrealist designer, whose extravagant ideas are still used today. Her passion for surrealism and Dadaism in the 30s was reflected in her in buttons in the form of candy and peanuts, in bags in the form of music boxes or in a silk dress with lobsters painted by Salvador Dali. Collaboration with Dali was not limited to this: he drew advertisements for lipsticks and perfumes for her, and Elsa designed things according to his sketches - for example, a hat-boot. It was not easy for her to adapt to the post-war requirements, like many designers of that time. And although the perfume line she founded in 1928 was a success and helped develop the house for some time, in 1954 the Schiaparelli fashion house was closed.

In 2007, the brand was bought by Tod's owner Diego Della Valle, but Schiaparelli's comeback was postponed until 2014, although one of the attempts to revive Schiaparelli was due to Christian Lacroix. As a result, only last January, at the Haute Couture Week in Paris, the new creative director of the house, Marco Zanini, presented the first couture collection of the revived house.

spring-summer - 2014. Marco Zanini skillfully works with archives at home (monkey fur came into vogue thanks to Schiaparelli, and Zanini also works with him) and has already proved in two collections that surrealism and theatricality are exactly what modern fashion lacks. At least Tilda Swinton's sympathy for the renovated fashion house has already earned.

Charles james

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Despite his British heritage, Charles James is known as the first American couturier. Starting his career in a small hat shop in 1926, Charles James has earned the title of one of the greatest designers of all time. The Great Depression played an important role in this. In the aftermath of the Wall Street crisis, many Parisian couturiers in America were imposed a 90 percent duty and had to wind down their businesses and were replaced by local designers. Among them was Charles James, and a number of iconic couturiers of the era: Maine Boher, Elizabeth Hose and Muriel King.

Charles was not just a fashion designer or sculptor, but an architect. For example, the quilted jacket, created by the designer in the mid-30s in addition to evening wear and called "soft sculpture" by Salvador Dali, became the progenitor of modern quilted jackets, which are present even in the wardrobes of people far from fashion. In addition to quilted jackets, James' business cards were the Four-Leaf Clover ball gown, which was practically an engineering structure. The dress consisted of four layers: a taffeta petticoat, a stiff petticoat, a wedge petticoat, and a top dress. It was difficult to move in it, but it looked mind-blowing.

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The discomfort of women did not stop the designer, who meticulously created objects of art from fabric: his ball gowns could weigh up to 8 kg. Charles James was to some extent a fanatic and a perfectionist: he could alter the same model several times, verifying every detail with mathematical precision, work for a long time on the perfect cut of the sleeves and spend a lot of money on it. In the 50s, Charles James's career began to decline, and the reason for this was his reluctance to accept changes in fashion. James could not come to terms with the onset of the era of mass production and abandon complex cuts in order to reduce the cost of models. And debts and unpaid taxes made him finally leave the fashion world in 1958.

In 2014, the world started talking about the Charles James brand again. After the ball, organized by the Met Gala Costume Institute in honor of the legendary couturier, it was announced that the American film producer and co-founder of Miramax Films Harvey Weinstein will be involved in the revival of the brand - he signed an agreement with the children of Charles James to purchase a license with the possibility of subsequent acquisition of the brand. The return of the brand is planned under the direction of creative consultants: co-founder and designer of Marchesa Georgina Chapman and her brother, President of Marchesa, Edward Chapman.

IRFE

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The IRFE brand was founded in Paris in 1924 by Russian émigrés: Nicholas II's niece Irina and her husband Felix Yusupov. The folded initial letters of their names gave the name to an aristocratic house in every sense. Once clients of Parisian fashion houses, the Yusupov couple knew the secrets of haute couture, and their friends and relatives took part in the creation of the collection. Despite the classic design, their outfits in Paris showcased androgynous à la garçon models, and the design of sportswear was on the couturier's mind. In 1926, IRFE introduced its own perfume line of four fragrances: Blonde for blondes, Brunette for brunettes, Titiane for brown-haired women and Gray Silver for women of "elegant age". Unlike other houses, IRFE directly named the hair color and paid attention to middle-aged women, dedicating one of the fragrances to Empress Maria Feodorovna.

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The economic crisis of the late twenties affected many sectors of the world economy, and in 1931 IRFE, along with many other companies, had to declare bankruptcy and close all of its branches. However, the brand's perfume line lasted until the early 60s, and one of the house's dresses ended up in the Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum in New York.

The return of the brand after a 90-year hiatus happened to some extent thanks to the fashion historian Alexander Vasiliev. Olga Sorokina learned about the house from his book "Beauty in Exile", and after meeting with the granddaughter of the Yusupovs, Ksenia Sheremeteva-Sfiri, she took up the revival of the legendary fashion house. Last year, on the occasion of the 400th anniversary of the Romanov dynasty, the renovated house of IRFE took its first step - at the Paris Fashion Week, its new collection was shown. Today, the creative team of the house is trying not only to preserve, but also to modernize the IRFE collections.

Photos: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, IRFE, Schiaparelli, Wikimedia Commons, Vionnet

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