This is a hand coloured and plate-signed pochoir from the book "Les
Choses de Paul Poiret". Poiret was the grand haute couture designer who commissioned Lepape for this landmark book published February 15, 1911. This was the first time in the history of fashion illustration that the elements of movement and drama were used to help feature the designer's work. Poiret's two unique couture albums, in collaboration with Iribe and Lepape, set the stage for the next 20 years - the golden age of fashion illustration - and are today regarded as seminal pieces of Art Deco design. In this pochoir Lepape uses a common point of reference for the viewer: The birdcage, with a bird about to be freed, represented the exciting emancipitation of the New Woman on all levels. Lepape was continously inserting socio-political messages into his illustrations, and it is very much to Poiret's credit that he gave the artist so much freedom of expression. But the message very much at the forefront was Poiret's gown, which Lepape presented with minimal line and colour. This gave the creation an immediate and arresting impact, as do the unusual dimensions of this image which are in total harmony with the line of the gown. Lepape's abilities transcend the mere transmission of an idea: his images incorporate a knowledge of human psychology and our sub-conscious response to archetypes of colour, line and design. .
H.11.5in X W.6.0in; H.29.2cm X W.15.2cm