(1879-1944) French fashion designer. He was influential in the early part of the 20th century. He founded his own fashion house 1904 and two years later began loosening the shape of his designs, producing soft, amorphous gowns which were simple and elegant, followed by Eastern-inspired outfits 1909. He introduced the hobble skirt 1911 which, although it freed the hips, confined the ankles and attracted much criticism.
Poiret joined the house of Doucet 1896, before working for Worth in 1900. In 1911 he established the Ecole Martine, in which girls who were untrained in design were encouraged to make designs for textiles, wallpaper, and furniture. In the same year he launched the first range of designer perfumes, under the name Rosine. During this period he also created the “lampshade” skirt, the hem of which was wired so that it stood out in a circle around the body. In 1914, at the outbreak of World War I, Poiret closed his studio. Although it reopened after the war he failed to attain his former status.