Paul Poiret. Orientalism.

Orientalism was one of Poiret’s major influences. Poiret’s signature was sensual, dramatic and seductive garments with his lavish use of exotic fabrics, metallic decoration, beading and embroideries.

I do think exoticism in fashion is influencial—especially back in the early 1900. Work of design can be characterized by uncanny things. It seems like the more unusual the more valuable. His work was extravagan with inspiration in art nouveau, the east, and the exotic ballets of Sergei Diaghilev’s Ballet Russe, he introduced these layered dresses, his iconic “lampshade” tunic and his “harem” trousersturbans to high fashion. All these these oriental fantasies and lively colours earned him the description, “Pasha Paris”.

The first one is the famous “The Thousand and Second Night”


‘Scheherazade’ in 1911 was a very typical exoticism example for reference. ”The  Thousand and Second Night” dress revealed the strong influence of Sergei Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes on the designer’s imagination.The Scheherazade opened up a lot movement, colours, music for inpiration. It has got a strong sexual motif within and has put forward sex and death on stage. Its incredible success created much fantasy.

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“It is what a woman, leaves off, not what she puts on that gives her cachet” – Paul Poiret

Happened to see this quote of him 😀 though noting to do with orientalism.


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