Woman’s Party Costume Label: PAUL POIRET-a Paris-December 1913
Gala Benefit May 7 with Honorary Chair François-Henri Pinault and Co-Chairs Cate Blanchett, Nicolas Ghesquière, and Anna Wintour
Exhibition dates: May 9 – August 5, 2007
Exhibition location: Special exhibition galleries, first floor
Press preview: Monday, May 7, 10 a.m.–1 p.m. Contact:
Nancy Aronson Chilton 212-570-3951
Paul Poiret – who at the height of his career in pre-World War I France was the undisputed "King of Fashion" and whose sweeping vision led to a new silhouette that liberated women from the corset and introduced the shocking colors and exotic references of the Ballets Russes to the haute couture – will be celebrated with a landmark exhibition at The Metropolitan Museum of Art from May 9 through August 5, 2007. He has not been the focus of a major museum exhibition in more than 30 years.
"The historic significance and influence of Poiret's work is breathtaking, and felt in fashion to the present day," said Harold Koda, Curator in Charge of the Metropolitan Museum's Costume Institute. "Poiret pioneered a seductive modernity based on woman's self-confident femininity, and envisioned a 'total lifestyle' that extended from how she dressed and what fragrance she wore to how she decorated her home – an approach reflected in the strategies of many of today's fashion houses." Presented in a series of tableaux, the garments on view will highlight the multiple facets of Poiret's astonishing inventiveness – including the beauty of his draped, unstructured fabrics and his fascination with the Ballets Russes, the Wiener Werkstätte, Orientalism and the 1001 Nights – and will be complemented by paintings, illustrations, furniture and examples of the decorative arts that explicate his expansive artistic vision. At the core of the exhibition will be a grouping of the stunning creations the Metropolitan acquired in the much-heralded 2005 auction of clothing from Poiret's estate.
The exhibition is made possible by Balenciaga.
Additional support is provided by Condé Nast.
(Press release from Metropolitan Museum of Art)