Textile designed by Raoul Dufy (French, Le Havre 1877–1953 Forcalquier)
(b) linen, wool, cotton
(a) Length at CB: 45 1/2 in. (115.6 cm)
(b) Length: 62 in. (157.5 cm)
Millia Davenport and Zipporah Fleisher Fund, 2005
Not on view
This dress is an elaboration of the simpler construction of Poiret's chemises. Like the earlier versions, it was designed to be worn with a sash that cinched the dress to the body under the bust in an Empire silhouette. To the basic T-shape of the rose-patterned silk, Poiret added blue black velvet rectangles to form wide sleeves and the hem of the dress. The result is an illusion of a silk overtunic and velvet underdress. The proportion established by this strategy of trompe l’oeil is consistent with those of actual tunic dresses advocated by the designer during this period. Paul Iribe designed Poiret's rose motif. Of all his collaborations with artists and illustrators, Poiret was proudest of his introduction of Iribe to a wider audience. Iribe was responsible for a publication early in the designer's career, Les robes de Paul Poiret (1908), that not only promoted the increasingly influential couturier, but also established Iribe as a major talent. In 1908 or 1909, when Poiret moved his business to the avenue d’Antin, the rose, as delineated by Iribe, was placed on the couturier's label, a restatement of Poiret’s esteem for the artist.