Art/ Collection/ Art Object
{{img.publicCaption}}

Dress

Designer:
Paul Poiret (French, Paris 1879–1944 Paris)
Date:
ca. 1925
Culture:
French
Medium:
silk, leather
Credit Line:
Gift of Mrs. Kenneth Maconochie, 1951
Accession Number:
C.I.51.47
Not on view
The influence of Sergei Diaghilev's Ballets Russes and specifically of Léon Bakst, its renowned costume and production designer, on the work of Poiret was elided and, on occasion, dismissed categorically by the couturier. However, the exuberant imagery of Diaghilev's theatrical productions was in perfect concordance with Poiret's love of vivid colors, dramatic effects, and fantastic exoticism.
This short evening dress with a zigzag pattern appears to conflate Near and Middle Eastern costume in its details but cites with astonishing closeness a costume designed by Bakst for Nijinsky. A sketch for Nijinsky's role as the Hindu prince in Diaghilev's Le festin (1909) shows a fitted tunic with cap sleeves worn over tight trousers. Poiret's design with a gold- lamé plastron-shaped insert at center front, which disrupts an angled decorative waistband, is a direct reference to Bakst's drawing. The designer, however, has modified Bakst's costume in other details. The sleeves in the original costume are excised, and the whole garment is elongated to calf length. Poiret has relaxed the line of Bakst's tunic and introduced a body-skimming ease. By pleating fullness along the bottom edge of the insert, he created movement in the skirt. Poiret underscored his evocation of royal India through his selection of a richly rainbow-patterned lamé that recalls the gold-shot silks of maharajahs.
Marking: [label] Paul Poiret a Paris
Related Objects

Evening dress

Artist: Paul Poiret (French, Paris 1879–1944 Paris) Date: ca. 1930 Medium: silk Accession: 2009.300.1304a, b On view in:Not on view

Evening coat

Artist: Attributed to Paul Poiret (French, Paris 1879–1944 Paris) Date: ca. 1925 Medium: synthetic Accession: 2009.300.1339 On view in:Not on view

Evening dress

Artist: Paul Poiret (French, Paris 1879–1944 Paris) Date: 1922–23 Medium: silk Accession: C.I.43.85.2a, b On view in:Not on view

Dress

Artist: Paul Poiret (French, Paris 1879–1944 Paris) Date: 1925 Medium: wool, silk Accession: C.I.50.117 On view in:Not on view

Evening ensemble

Artist: Paul Poiret (French, Paris 1879–1944 Paris) Date: fall/winter 1928–29 Medium: silk Accession: C.I.50.84.2a, b On view in:Not on view