Paul Poiret (1879-1944) is a name, like Coco Chanel, steeped in high-life Parisian design. But whereas the latter name endures, the former does not. And yet Poiret was a fashion pacesetter whose audaciously loose-fitting, streamline presences for wealthy and glamorous luminaries of the City of Light introduced the remarkably fertile and influential trend of what eventually came to be known as Art Deco. His acute sense of where history was going was not, alas, matched by business acumen, and his fifteen or so year reign of generating promising newness (in association with the great Paris graphic designers of the era), going far beyond surface matters, skidded to a halt in the late 1920s.
Capitalizing on his range of contacts, he launched a fervent project, unfortunately not a financial success, in hopes of turning the tide of sad tidings. This was to consist of a coffee-table book survey of the great Paris retail palaces, as conveyed by some of those aforementioned graphic artists as afforded the luxury of top-of-the-line paper stock and awe-inspiring lithography from the great vintage poster concern, Devambez, as packaged by the peerless bindery, Magnier Frères.
Our first true-litho example, shown above, tells us immediately that we are in the presence of small-format (14″ x 10 ½”) advertising art which actually surpasses most of the blue-chip poster lithography of the era. Bi-plane soaring vision by virtue of a Place Vendome perfume and cosmetics oasis!
Everything for a lady’s maintenance and glory, including the gowns of the one-time publisher! The golden Sphinx covers the modest hope of everlasting fame. The graphic composition is sheer magic in its play of scale, color and the infinite darkness of time.
Inspired use of the grey scale to evoke vivacity to the point of creatively inhabiting all of nature!
Magical blossoming as culled by the great department store! All of Paris at its feet!
Homage to a mainstay of the Paris source of the Surrealist dream!
Constructivist graphic design wit, with a touch of mystery, to impress that the radio product is part of part of a benign storm of invention!
The good life—because it is steeped in great life!
Wild Paris Women, at home in the elements! The exciting shopping does its bit to keep them good to go!