Thursday, February 14, 2008
Paul Poiret, Rue Pasquier 37, Paris
The wardrobe of the late wife of couturier extraordinaire Paul Poiret, was auctioned away today at Drouot. White-gloved young men brought the ancient, fragile garments into the limelight in a surprisingly dingy room, as a auctioneer in a poorly-tailored suit (how ironic) called out prices that reached stratospheric records - or so it seemed to me.
Some of Mrs Poiret's clothes, accessories and shoes were not designed by her husband, and those items sold for more reasonable prices - for instance, €450 for a 19th century sleeveless embroidered Persian jacket, or a mere €40 for a set of silk handkerchieves. The wardrobe also included items that belonged to the Poiret children, such as an exquisite little girl's riding jacket.
Poiret's so-called ethnic inspiration was reflected in his 'Mandarin jackets', his poignantly simple blue linen Sioux dress, with its single whimsical embroidered pocket (it sold for €14,000) as well as in the use of 'bigoudin' buttons (traditional style from Brittany), and in my favorite items, the Russian-flavored dresses. With their Empire-style waists, their blousy designs and their exquisite embroidery, these included the off-white and red Kazan dress, which I would have bought in a heartbeat if I had €17,000... (I did however honor Russian style myself, since I was wearing MAC's Russian Red lipstick! A Cup of Jo's Joanna had suggested we all wear red lipstick on Valentine's Day...)
The red-carpet worthy hot pink La Vallière dress (pictured), and its matching "turban" sold for €24,000.
See more pictures here (shoe addicts should head for Miss Giltzy's blog), and read more (in French) chez the adorable Poirette.
Be sure to visit tomorrow for more glamour: I am invited to a black-tie event celebrating Russian composer Rodion Shchedrin upon his 75th birthday; I haven't decided if I would wear my wide Lanvin tuxedo pants with my beige Nina Ricci cropped jacket or a simple dress...