In Paris by Marina Tsvetaeva (1909)

Starlit houses, and sky below,

Earth dazed in the nearness.

The same secret longing though

In Paris, so vast and joyous.

The evening boulevards noisy,

The last ray of light dies,

Couples, paired round me,

Fierce lips, insolent eyes.

I’m alone. It’s sweet to rest

My head on a chestnut tree.

As in far Moscow, my breast

Throbs to Rostand’s poetry.

Paris at night, painful strangeness,

Dear the heart’s ancient folly!

I’m going back to violets, sadness,

A portrait of someone kind to me.

There that gaze, pensive, a brother,

There that mild profile, on the wall.

Rostand, L’Aiglon that martyr,

And Sarah* – in dream I find them all!

In Paris, so vast and joyous,

I dream of clouds and grass,

Laughter, shadows, ominous,

And the pain that will not pass.

                                        Paris, June 1909.

    

* Rostand’s play L’Aiglon concerns the unhappy life of the Duke of Reichstadt, the son of Napoleon I and Marie Louise, lived under the surveillance of Metternich at the Schönbrunn Palace. The drama was produced, on the 15th March 1900, by Sarah Bernhardt, at her own theatre, she herself playing the part of the Duke.

Beautiful Belle Epoque Photos of Marcelle Lender

Marcelle Lender (1862 – 1926) was a French singer, dancer and entertainer made famous in paintings by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec.

Born Anne-Marie Marcelle Bastien, she began dancing at the age of sixteen and within a few years made a name for herself performing at the Théâtre des Variétés in Montmartre.

Marcelle Lender appears in several works by Lautrec but the most notable is the one of her dancing the Bolero during her February 1895 performance in the Hervé operetta Chilpéric. Lautrec’s portrait of her in full costume, her flame-red hair accentuated by two red poppies worn like plumes, boosted Lender’s popularity considerably after it appeared in a Paris magazine. The painting was eventually sold to a collector from the United States, and on her death in 1998 the painting’s then owner, American Betsey Cushing Whitney, donated it to the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.

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Marcelle Lender, 1900s french postcard by Reutlinger via

 

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Marcelle Lender via

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Marcelle Lender via

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Mlle Marcelle Lender. Robe de bal par Doucet via

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Marcelle Lender via

A Collection of Photos Feat. Belle Epoque Dresses by Jeanne Paquin

Jeanne Paquin (1869 – 1936) was a leading French fashion designer, who created alongside her husband, Isidore Paquin, an influential couture business. In 1890 the couple opened Maison de Couture Rue de la Paix in Paris, close to the celebrated House of Worth.

The Maison Paquin quickly became known for its eighteenth century-inspired pastel evening dresses and tailored day dresses, as well as for its numerous publicity stunts, including organizing fashion parades to promote her new models and sending her models to operas and races in order to show off her designs. Jeanne Paquin withdrew from the House in 1920. She was a beautiful woman and a style icon herself, who imagined youthful and exquisite garments

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Jeanne Paquin, 1910 via

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Jeanne Paquin, 1910 via

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Jeanne Paquin. Evening gown. Reutlinger, Les Modes May 1902 via

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Jeanne Paquin. Afternoon dress by Paquin. Reutlinger, Les Modes May 1902 via

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Jeanne Paquin. Tailored suits by Paquin. Félix, Les Modes June 1909 via

Beautiful Vintage Jacques Doucet Fashion & Design Photos (1900s-1920s)

Jacques Doucet (1853–1929) was a French fashion designer and art collector. He is known for his elegant dresses, made with flimsy translucent materials in superimposing pastel colors. His clothes were of perfect taste and luxury, his name the only one equalled with Worth.

Jacques Doucet was born in Paris in 1853 to a prosperous family whose lingerie and fine linens business, Doucet Lingerie, had flourushed in the Rue de la Paix since 1816. In 1871 Doucet opened a salon selling ladies’ apparel.

His most original designs were those he created for actresses of the time. Cecile Sorel, Rejane and Sarah Bernhardt (he designed the famous white costume she wore in L’Aiglon) all wore his outfits, both on and off the stage. For them he reserved a particular style, one which consisted of frills, sinuous curving lines and lace ruffles the colors of faded flowers.

Doucet was a designer of taste and discrimination who valued dignity and luxury above novelty and practicality, and gradually faded from popularity during the 1920s.

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Portrait of Jacques Doucet by Pierre Berger via

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Hat by Jacques Doucet, 1900 via

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Dress by Jacques Doucet, 1901 via

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Evening dress by Doucet, Les Modes June 1909 via

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Jacques Doucet, Sarah Bernhardt in Aiglon via

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Robe de style by Doucet, photo by Henri Manuel, Les Modes June 1923 via

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Robe de style by Doucet, Les Modes June 1923. Photo by Henri Manuel via

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Evening gown by Doucet, photo by Henri Manuel, Les Modes June 1923 via

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Jacques Doucet’s apartment Photograph by Pierre Legrain Published in L’Illustration, c. 1929 via

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Jacques Doucet’s Hall, Studio Saint James at Neuilly sur Seine via

Early 20th Century Fashion & Design by Paul Poiret (1879–1944)

Paul Poiret (1879 – 1944) became a legendary French Couturier. His contributions to twentieth-century fashion have been likened to Picasso’s contributions to twentieth-century art. Poiret dominated Belle Epoque fashion and reshaped women’s silhouettes by liberating them from constricting corsets and popularising the high waist. From abolishing the corset he went further with hobble skirts, “harem” pantaloons, and “lampshade” tunics, using the fabulous soirées he threw in his garden to promote such whimsies. His most famous soirée was The Thousand and Second Night party he threw in 1911. Unfortunately post war Europe and the public were not akin or sympathetic to Poiret’s style and he closed his house, heavy in debt, in 1929.

He was employed at the house of Worth but did not continue there for long. On the 1st September, 1904 he opened his own establishment at 5 Rue Auber. Between 1904-1924 he irrevocably changed the feminine form with his new fashion designs.  Poiret’s major contribution to fashion was his development of an approach to dressmaking centered on draping, a radical departure from the tailoring and pattern-making of the past. He dismissed the use of corsets, he eliminated layered petticoats, was influenced by orientalism and he introduced the first modern straight lined dress. He also was the first designer to commercialise his own perfumes, launching a now standard marketing concept. He is also quoted to have said:

“My wife is the inspiration for all my creations; she is the expression of all my ideals.”

His wife, Denise, was his muse, creative director of the fashion house, and his favorite model. However, they divorced less than amicably in 1928 (Time reported: “M. Poiret charged that his wife’s attitude was injurious; Mme Poiret counter charged that her husband was cruel”).

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Paul Poiret Studio, 1910’s

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Paul Poiret’s studio

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Paul Poiret’s costume party

Paul Poiret, 1925.

Paul Poiret, 1925

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Paul Poiret, “Amphitrite” Cape, textile designe by Raoul Dufy, 1926

Paul Poiret, 1927