Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Paul Iribe

Paul Iribe was a famous fashion illustrator, designer and graphic artist. He was one of the founders of the art deco movement.

Born in 1883 in Angeloume, Iribe studied at the prestigious Ecole des Beaux-Arts and the College Rollin. He became an apprentice printer at the newspaper, Le Temps.

In 1908 the great fashion designer, Paul Poiret, 'discovered' Iribe. He admired Iribe's use of the pochoir technique, which involved colours brushed onto paper by using stencils. The technique featured bright colours and simple, sharp lines.

Iribe produced Les Robes des Poiret to advertise Poiret's new fashions. Only 250 were printed and each were signed and numbered. This was a great advance in fashion illustration because of the pochoir technique and the very modern poses of the models. They didn't just stand in unnatural poses. These models talked, played the piano, and generally enjoyed life in relaxed arrangements.

Iribe also designed wallpaper, fabrics, furniture, and helped Chanel with her jewellery designs.

He went to Hollywood in 1914 where he designed costumes and interiors for Paramount studios. His designs were used in many of Cecil B.DeMille's epics, including The Ten Commandments.

Iribe eventually returned to France where he continued his design work and set up a political newspaper. Chanel fell for the wonderfully talented fashion illustrator and caused him to separate from his second wife, Marybelle Hogan, an American heiress. He and Chanel were engaged when he died of a heart attack while playing tennis. Coco Chanel was devastated.

Iribe was only 52.


Hels said...

I love that painting... it is so clean, crisp, almost Japanese in taste. Poiret was smart in admiring Iribe :)

Was Iribe in Paris for the 1925 Exposition that led to Deco being promoted by the French and then introduced to the world? Did he leave design books that enourage historians to class him as one of the founders of the art deco movement?

So much to learn.. so little time.

Viola said...

I found a book on Iribe but it's in French, unfortunately! It may answer these questions.

I like to imagine that Iribe was in Paris for the Exposition!

He was certainly wonderfully talented with his design, illustrations, and political journalism.