Flonflon, Paul Poiret (French, Paris 1879–1944 Paris), silk, metallic thread, feathers, French


Paul Poiret (French, Paris 1879–1944 Paris)
ca. 1920
silk, metallic thread, feathers
Credit Line:
Purchase, Judith and Gerson Leiber Fund, 2005
Accession Number:
Not on view
Although Poiret’s atelier was capable of producing millinery that encompassed a wide range of materials and silhouettes, including cloches, turbans, small straws, jeweled headbands, and asymmetrically brimmed felts, he also worked with a number of milliners. In Denise Poiret's collection, many coifs were made by Madeleine Panizon (and survived with notes associating them to specific ensembles).
This example, however, was probably created in Poiret's own maison de couture. The coif is an improvisation in wire, strips of silk, and feathers and is little more than a headband. As with many of the hats and headdresses intended for pairing with evening ensembles, the ‘Flonflon’ is theatrical in spirit. In concept, it is similar to a more widely known example of gold lame and black monkey fur, worn by Denise Poiret with her ‘Paris’ evening coat. Both recall eighteenth-century depictions of the headdresses of the allegories of the Continents, notably of Africa and the Americas. For Poiret, evening dress, even in the details of its accessorization, offered an opportunity to evoke exotic referents.
Marking: [handwritten label] "Coiff Flonflon / 200"
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Poiret: King of Fashion," May 9, 2007–August 5, 2007.

Musée Jacquemart-André. "Poiret the magnificent, 1879–1944," January 1974– April 1974.