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The King of Fashion

Adolfo Conti
26 '

Paul Poiret, the first couturier to impose his own style on global women’s fashions. Seventy years after his death we relate the glories and downfall of a revolutionary artist and entrepreneurial genius in the amazing world of Belle Epoque Paris.
Everything that now seems a natural part of the fashion world was anticipated by one incredible creative talent: Paul Poiret ( 1879 – 1944 ). In just over ten years, between 1903 and the First World War, the Parisian tailor had a series of innovative ideas which were to change the fashion world for good. Poiret is usually remembered for having freed women from the slavery of busts and corsets which, as well as being extremely uncomfortable to wear also gave the female figure and unnatural silhouette. Poiret was a great couturier, but to limit a portrait of him to his finest creations would be to do him a grave injustice.
Poiret was the first to broaden the concept of fashion itself, ushering in the total lifestyle. 
Around his clothes designs he created perfumes, shows and accessories, even home furnishings.
Poiret was the first to take fashion outside the discreet walls of traditional ateliers.
He was the first to make Fashion an event of international importance which fed itself through advertising, the figurative arts, theatrical performances and fashion shows.
He anticipated the present day by devising marketing strategies inconceivable at the time. He was the first to publish his own sketches for publicity purposes. He was the first to organize travelling fashion shows in Europe and the United States to promote his work. It was Poiret who made the mannequin the protagonist of these theatrical shows.
Paul Poiret. The King of Fashion relates all of this, reliving the most important moments in his career as couturier and entrepreneur. Up until the long crisis which marked his unstoppable decline after the First World War.


produced by Amalia Carandini - Doc Art

in cooperation with
Nonfictionplanet - Hamburg

a production for NDR in association with ARTE

written and directed by
Adolfo Conti

screened by
Véronique Belloir
Pamela Golbin
Didier Grumbach
Catherine Parpoil
George Stamm

director of photography
Laurent Didier

Eugenio Persico

Fabrizio Romano

archive producer
Ilaria Sbarigia