jeanne paquin

 

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About Jeanne Paquin.

Modern designer. Modern woman. Modern outlook. All in an unmodern time.

Born in a staid era and training at the French couture house Rouff, Jeanne Paquin took the best of her time and her experience to create her eponymous label in 1890.

She did things her way. And she did them first. Hers was a time when you wore black only when in mourning. Paquin made black fashionable. She recognised the value in having the young and the beautiful wear couture designs to the right events. Suddenly, Paquin’s models were everywhere that was fashionable and Paquin had pioneered both the red carpet and what we’d come to know as street style. She was the first woman designer to accept France’s Legion d’Honneur just as she had been the first woman to head a couture house. She was the first woman to build a thoroughly international couture house, with branches in Buenos Aires, London, Madrid, and New York. And with the 1920s dawning, her bold vision and sense of modernity meant that Paquin oversaw a fashion house larger and more influential than its competition, and one that employed over 2,700 artisans.

Jeanne Paquin retired from her fashion house in 1920, with Maison Paquin now headed by a team who shared Jeanne’s vision. So influential were they, that the house’s protégés would go on to become head designers for the likes of Elizabeth Arden, Lanvin, and Vionette.

Sadly, Maison Paquin did not keep up with the modern world of fashion and couture that it and Jeanne had pioneered. With the cultural revolution of the 1960s dawning, Maison Paquin shuttered in the summer of 1956.

Like some other fashion houses that failed to find their place in the post-war world, 1956 would not be Maison Paquin’s last chapter. Some 60 years later, the dormant house was purchased by French entrepreneur Charles Rosier. Revived, it pursues bespoke interests as Maison Paquin prepares to again make its impact on the world with a vision as bold and as defining as Jeanne Paquin has infused into her couture house over a century ago.