Jeanne Paquin

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Jeanne Paquin, the first woman to gain international celebrity in the fashion business and the first great woman couturier. She was widely regarded as “the world's greatest fashion authority”. Her design career spanned three decades and contributed to the areas of business, public persona, art, and design. She humbly started as a young girl, she worked at a local dressmakers shop and later became a seamstress at Maison Rouff. In 1891 she married Isidore Paquin, and they opened their own Maison de Couture on Rue de la Paix, close to the famous House of Worth. This made Paquin the first woman to open her own fashion house. Jeanne and her husband,created a new business model, which later became standard operating procedures in the fashion world. Most important was the concept of international expansion through opening foreign branches. They built a couture business whose worldwide scope and stylistic influence were unseen during the first years of the twentieth century. Their new approaches to marketing and luxurious designs, attracted fashionable women of the world who were waiting for a new fashion model at the end of the Victorian era. Paquin clothes were renowned for their imaginative design, superb craftsmanship, and matchless artistry. The designs of the gowns spoke of a quiet sophistication, which captivated women of refined taste. At its height, the house employed more than 2000 workers, at a time when the most important fashion establishment employed from 50 to 400. She altered the monotonous black colour, which had become so dominant in the nineteenth century, by lining black coats with red silk, or trimming black with beautiful embroidery and lace. Embroidery silks added glamour and diamante embroidery for evening was said to be so 'brilliant' that the nightclubs hardly needed lighting. Beads were embroidered – creating motifs, lines, or trimmings – on most evening wear. Robert Forrest Wilson's Paris on Parade (1925) wrote that: “Fashion once simply...
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