Sunday, June 27, 2010

1902 loveliness


1902 was a year of beginnings, including everything from the birth of Marcel Rochas - who inverted the wasp waist five years before Dior's New Look, the birth of Richard Rodgers, who helped create some of the best musicals of all time, to the fact the Teddy Roosevelt initiated the US Presidents to the car. He was the first president to ride in a car, in 1902.

This beauty, a 1902 Pacquin, is simply beautiful. Pacquin loved color and romance, and this example is no exception. By this point in her career, she had been working for a little over ten years, which was midway through her management of the house of Pacquin. Her husband, Isidore, died suddenly in 1907, and she ran the business alone until 1921, when she retired, leaving the direction of the business to trusted partners. Pacquin ultimately purchased the House of Worth's French business arm. Nonetheless, Pacquin's couture house closed in the mid 50s.

Pacquin loved color, many times layering different shades of fabric, then playing with the layers to see how the light would change them. She loved the exotic -- especially the Oriental -- and the bold colors that went along with it. She had a special weakness for fur evening wraps as well. The house of Pacquin had an Argentinian office, and for good reason -- many of her fashions were based on the tango craze. Interestingly, she was also an early proponent of fashion marketing -- fashion shows were not the only way she did it. She sent her models to the races or other social events, wearing her styles, just to get people to look. This likely opened the door to others licensing their name, which was made hugely popular when Dior did it in the 50s.

Though a top designer of her time, Pacquin has been overshadowed by others over the years. Sad, considering her immense popularity at the time, and her unquestionable eye for the beautiful.

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