Art/ Collection/ Art Object
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Jacket

Designer:
Paul Poiret (French, Paris 1879–1944 Paris)
Date:
1912
Culture:
French
Medium:
wool, cotton, rayon
Credit Line:
Catharine Breyer Van Bomel Foundation Fund, 2005
Accession Number:
2005.203
Not on view
Poiret's jacket merges his interest in Neoclassicism and orientalism by alluding to the early-nineteenth­-century vogue for women of fashion to cover their sheer Grecian-style gowns with paisley shawls imported from the East. Additionally, he shaped the jacket with a flaring peplum in the style of Ottoman tunics. The wide sleeve cuffs, in a more subtle allusion, also reference exotic dress.
Unlike many of his designs from 1912, which have a high-waisted silhouette, this jacket has a waistline that is only slightly raised. While Poiret's advocacy of the uncorseted form is reflected in the minimal shaping of the piece, the jacket still conforms, if barely, to the torso. The side seams and the slightly canted shoulder line accomplish its primary shaping. A graphic and hieratic silhouette seen in Persian and Mughal miniatures is created by restricting the fullness of the peplum to the sides of the hips with a double box pleat. This makes for the effect of planarity conveyed by some nontailored garment traditions associated with the "exotic."
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