Hey guys! I’ve got so many things I’m dying to share with you, but design school just won’t allow me a spare moment. I guess I have to accept that blogging won’t be regular around here until finals are through. There is a silver lining to all this in the form of a month-long winter break. I just have to survive until then.
I’m writing this post when I really should be doing my homework because I found an incredible source of inspiration that I wanted to share. In my opinion one of the most exciting benefits of Parsons life is access to an extraordinary collection of fashion books, data bases, magazines, and fashion forecasting sites. Unfortunately these aren’t open to the public and subscriptions are expensive. Boo! However I found a fabulous collection of Art Deco fashion publications available through the Smithsonian for free. If you’re looking for a little inspiration or need to kill a few minutes at work I highly recommend. The website design is great and you can flip though the pages just as if you had the book in front of you.
I discovered this treasure trove because two books in the collection are published by Paul Poiret (maybe some of you can tell that today’s homework was from my fashion history course). Paul Poiret was a Parisien fashion designer and revolutionized fashion illustration when he commissioned Paul Iribe to create a series of drawings based on his designs. The illustrations were published in a book Les Robes de Paul Poiret in 1908. Before Les Robes de Paul Poiret fashion illustrations were drawn to included as much information about the clothing as possible. Paul Iribe ignored this convention and when for a much more stylized look when creating his art deco drawings. In doing so he created the look that I think most of us still associate with the 1920s.
The relationship between Paul Poiret and Paul Iribe disintegrated quickly and George Lepape was hired to illustrate Les Choses de Paul Poiret published in 1911. His multiple collaborations led some newspapers to report that the fashion illustrators were the true innovators and not the fashion designer. Old Paul Poiret didn’t like that so much. Fashion designers never have an ego.
The success of Les Robes de Paul Poiret and Les Choses de Paul Poiret inspired Lucien Vogel to create the fashion magazine La Gazette du Bon Ton in 1912. You can also browse
a couple of issues of La Gazette du Bon Ton on the Smithsonian Libraries website. The magazine’s mission was to bring couturiers and artists together and issues featured the best of Paris fashion including Cheruitt, Doeuillet, Doucet, Paquin, Poiret, Redfern, and Worth. I’m not familiar with half these guys myself but the pictures are beautiful. Another interesting fact about La Gazette du Bon Ton is that some of the designs are completely imaginary and created by the illustrators.
Well I hope I haven’t nerded you to death. Another great resource for free sewing inspiration is The Costume Institute. They have high quality photographs of most of the collection often with historical and fabrication information.
Finally a list of those links in one place:
- Les Robes de Paul Poiret
- Les Choses de Paul Poiret
- Gazette du Bon Ton
- Smithsonian Libraries online fashion collection
- Garments by Paul Poiret
- The Costume Institute
Steele, Valerie. “Fashion Revolution.” The Berg Fashion Library. 1998. http://www.bergfashionlibrary.com.libproxy.newschool.edu/view/PARISFASH/chapter-PARISFASH0013.xml (accessed 17 Nov. 2015).