Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Images from the past - Jean Patou 1887 - 1936 Paris, France

Breaking the rules with the classic concept of fashion. In the 1920's  designer Jean Patou and his competitor Coco Chanel were re-making the history of the dress with revolutionary new concepts.

Jean Patou

Jean Patou ( 1887 - 1936) is one of the memorable French designers from the in between two World Wars I and II period. The story of Patou starts in 1912 when opening his first small dressmaking salon "Maison Parry" and his entire 1914  collection was purchased by a single American buyer. During the WW I the House was closed and Patou reopens in 1919.

The elegant Jean Patou in 1924. 

A Blue Print of a period, Jean Patou dresses at Deauville Beach in France 1924

Model in early Patou style

Fast Jean Patou made a huge impression with his new ideas into fashion, he invented the "flapper look" by lengthening the skirt, and introducing sportswear for women.
He also invented the knitted swimwear and the tennis skirt for the extravagant Suzane Lenglen (1899 - 1938,  French tennis champion that won 31 championships between 1914 and 1926), he designed the daring and in that period scandalous  sleeveless and thigh-length cut tennis dress.

Tennis star Suzanne Lenglen in the first Jean Patou tennis wear

The extravagant Suzanne Lenglen in Jean Patou made a world's turn over in short sportswear, Chanel  in the same period created her little black dress..

Ski-wear in the 1930's

revolution in lenght

In the same period he popularized the cardigan. Later, in the 1920's  he invented the "designer's tie" using women's dress material for making his ties and they were displayed in department stores next to women's perfumes. Those ties were a source of inspiration for the designers Louis Feraud, Timothy Everest, Duchamp and Paul Smith. A few years later, Jean Patou created the "Huile de Chaldee" the very first sun tan oil.

When the 1929 stock market crashed the House of Patou survived almost and only through its perfumes. The best known perfume is "Joy" a heavy floral scent based on the most precious rose and jasmine. This perfume remained the most costliest perfume in the world and fragrance history, 15 ml was prized at 175 Pound Sterling in the 1930's!!! .

 In 1959 Karl Lagerfeld became  art director at Jean Patou fashion house. 

Dorian Leigh in Jean Patou evening dress

Jean Patou  was a great hat designer, The hat in Patou's vision was a accessory for the dress

Ironically,Jean Patou, the designer of beach and sports wear passed away  the year  that the French government accepted the annual holiday law in 1936. Drawing by Jean Patou.

Christian Lacroix for the Jean Patou House

1 comment:

  1. He employed a French fashion sense to counter what he considered the gauche styles that swept in from America after World War I. The French tennis sensation Suzanne Lenglen became as famous for her jean patou designed tennis dresses, as for her scintillating game.