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"Arrow of Gold"

Designer:
Paul Poiret (French, Paris 1879–1944 Paris)
Date:
1925
Culture:
French
Medium:
silk, metallic thread
Dimensions:
(a) Length at CB: 45 in. (114.3 cm) (b) Length at CB: 36 in. (91.4 cm) (c) Length: 39 in. (99.1 cm)
Credit Line:
Gift of Mrs. Robert A. Lovett, 1951
Accession Number:
C.I.51.70.19a–c
Not on view
The influence of the 1925 Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes on fashion was especially pronounced in textile designs of the period. The green silk chiffon of the gown is brocaded with a gilt-thread fletching motif in overall repeat on the torso of the dress and on the hem. Renowned as a colorist, Poiret is unusual among couturiers in his advocacy of vivid green as a fashionable hue. In various tonalities, green is represented in almost all of the designer's collections. Here, Poiret has complemented the color with a hip girdle of pink and gold that brings to the surface of the dress the colors of its richly brocaded pink silk underdress in the kind of sophisticated juxtaposition for which the designer was celebrated.
Poiret has created a tunic proportion, favored in the period, by extending the bodice to the lower hipline, where the skirt is then shirred in a dagged line conforming to the fletching motif. The sashlike girdle is positioned along the upper hipline, which not only introduces a more personalized proportion but also mediates Poiret's concession to prevailing modes. An almost intransigent, deliberately individualistic approach to design therefore appears in even his most conventional works. Poiret's lifelong assertion of his identity as an artist subordinated his pursuit of commercial success. Thus, although arguably with increasing subtlety, idiosyncracy infused his designs until the close of his couture house in 1929.
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