One of the most influential and innovative fashion icons of the early 20th century, Paul Poiret (1879-1944, a wildly successful man who lived an extremely opulent life only to die penniless, a forgotten figure by Le Beau Monde as the 20th century zoomed ahead of him), led the industry in the design and manufacturing of every detail of what he produced. Here are just a few examples of his textiles, made in his studio, Atelier Martine, between 1918 and 1925…

Fabric Design with Flowers, Circles, and Dots

From The Metropolitan Museum

‘Martine, which opened on April 1, 1911, was the interior design business owned and operated by Paul Poiret, a noted Parisian couturier. The business consisted of École Martine, Atelier Martine, and La Maison Martine. École Martine (housed in Poiret’s premises in rue d’Antin) was an experimental art school for young, working-class girls. Under the direction of design educator Marguerite Gabriel-Claude Sérusier, these untrained girls sketched plants and animals in local parks and zoos. Poiret bought the best of their drawings, which were adapted for use by Atelier Martine, the design studio. At first, Atelier Martine produced only textiles and wallpapers, but soon expanded, to create carpets, lighting, hand-painted glassware and ceramics, and other items for interiors (including dolls outfitted by Poiret). Furniture and interior decorating services were introduced under the direction of Guy-Pierre Fauconnet. Little is known about the manufacturers of their products, but it is unlikely that the atelier was able to realize most of their designs in-house, turning instead to outside specialists: Paul Dumas or Defossé & Karth for wallpapers, Adolphe Chanaux for furniture, and Murano for glassware. One notable exception was the deep pile carpets, hand-knotted by the students. The output of the atelier was sold through the retail and interior design service of the business, La Maison Martine. The shop was located at 107, rue du Faubourg Saint Honoré; it remained there until 1924, when it moved to 1, Rond-Point des Champs-Élysées. By the early 1920s, branches had been opened in Marseilles, Cannes, Biarritz, Deauville, La Baule, as well in London and Vienna. Martine products were actively promoted and sold in department stores in America and Germany.’

Textile Sample

Fabric Design with Red Flower Buds

Textile Sample

Fabric Design with Diamond Pattern

Fabric Design with Pussywillows

and a beautiful textile from Paul Iribe, an artist who worked closely with Poiret…

..thanks MetropolitanMuseumOfArt and Japonisme

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