the king of fashion and his king
poiret handled the lines, the cuts of the fabric, and dufy designed the fabrics
themselves. it is astonishing to do a little research into women's fashion in the 1800s. it was quite literally not until the final half decade of the century that colors, other than black and white, were allowed in the door.
and it was past the century mark itself before color and pattern beyond calico showed on the well-dressed woman. and at the very same moment, the whole shape of the fashions changed as well.* gone were the corsets and the bustles and stays. yes, there were 'hobble skirts,' also poiret's doing, but for the most part women's bodies had been freed.
many of dufy's designs were created using woodblock prints, thereby using both method and themes he found in japanese art. poirot, even an entrepreneur, commissioned some of paris's newest and best artists to paint portraits of his dresses for publicity purposes. he used a technique called pochoir, also modeled after the woodblock.
Dufy transformed the face of fashion and fabric design, formulated practically all modern fabric design between 1909 and 1930, and his style most radically influenced the popular arts and the commercial design of the Western world. Even today, his vision influences the color, design, texture and imagery of a wide range of products such as book covers, perfumes, posters and stage decor, and textiles for furniture and clothing.
It was his friendship with Poiret that first gave Dufy the scope he needed to develop his talents. His fabrics immediately aroused great interest. Dufy's designs were very different from the available printed silk fabrics which had small paisley or polka dot designs. Dufy's fabrics were stunning and Poiret used them extensively in his fashions, creating magnificent coats, capes and dresses in sumptuous silk brocades block-printed with large designs, such as La Perse; and when Poiret took his models to the races to publicize them, they were the center of attraction.
Dufy designed and carved woodcuts for me based on the illustrations he had just created for Apollinaire's Bestiaire. I made dresses with the sumptuous materials printed from them................ Paul Poiret, En Habillant l'Epoque, Paris, 1930. 2
(le chat translated by google. see previous dufy entry here, and poiret here and here. oh, and doesn't the owl one remind you of this?)