Paul Poiret

Poiret opened his couture house in 1903 and within ten years lead the way in Parisian couture. Under Poiret's influence, the curvaceous hourglass figure was displaced by a straighter, more modern silhouette. He pioneered the art of launching designer fragrances, and brought bold colours, exotic materials, and an Orientalist flair to fashion, offering harem trousers and turbans for evening wear. Poiret’s career was interrupted by the Great War. He never managed to bring his house back to the level of importance it had held before the war, closing with the onset of the Great Depression.

Examples of Poiret's work from before World War 1 are exceedingly rare. This coat would be an internationally important addition for the Fashion History Museum's collection.  

This year’s feature exhibition ‘Made in France’ highlights the museum’s couture collection, including examples from Worth, Lanvin, Chanel, Schiaparelli, Dior, Balmain, Balenciaga, Yves St. Laurent, and Courreges, among others. It also features an important new acquisition for the collection – a theatre coat by Paul Poiret dating from about 1912.

We have been diligently raising funds to purchase the coat, but are still short. Please consider donating, and remember that donations to the museum are tax deductible.



Help us Acquire a Special Artifact 

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Fashion History Museum

74 Queen Street East,

Cambridge, Ontario, Canada

N3C 2B1

519 654 0009