Rediscovered

© 2007 ARS, NEW YORK/ADAGP, PARIS

INSPIRATION: Poiret's wife, Denise, models the Faune ensemble in 1919

Life in Paris during the Belle Epoque saw the buttoned-up 19th century step aside for a more carefree Modernism. Forward-thinking and well-connected fashion designer Paul Poiret seized the moment. The self-appointed King of Fashion, who started his career at Paris' House of Worth, discarded the corset in 1906 for loose, flowing shapes, including Empire-waist dresses and Middle Eastern caftans. His clothes received a rapturous reception.

In 2005, 61 years after his death, Poiret's estate sold roughly 500 pieces to New York City's Metropolitan Museum of Art. The result is "Poiret: King of Fashion," which runs at...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!