Tabulous Tastemaker: Jean Patou

September 27, 2016

By Tab Byrum


It’s been a while since I’ve done a Tastemaker post but I couldn’t let today’s pass, Jean Patou. Patou was born on this day in Paris in 1887 into a family of tanners and furriers. Jean Patou was very passionate from an early age on becoming a couturier and he opened his first shop in 1912 and sold out his whole collection of 1914 to one American. Unfortunately, World War I interrupted Patou’s work when he was drafted after the German invasion of Belgium, he eventually attained the rank of Captain before the war came to an end in 1918. Patou reopened his couture house in 1919 and set about changing fashion, he is credited with creating sportswear for women as well as the tennis skirt, he added length to women’s skirts, and he began using knits in swimwear. In addition to women’s clothing Patou is credited with creating designer ties, he made men’s ties out of the same fabrics as he was using for women’s clothes. In 1925 Jean Patou created three perfumes which were a huge success, when the bottom fell out of the luxury clothing market in 1929 Patou’s perfumes are what kept him afloat. Sadly Jean Patou died in 1933 at the age of 46, his sister and her husband took over the business but today all that remains of the Patou creations are five different perfumes of the original 35 created by Jean Patou. Here’s to Jean Patou, a Tabulous Tastemaker. (above image via)


A Patou dinner dress from 1928. (via)


Two Deauville ladies dressed in Patou creations, 1927. (via)


The designer himself dressed for an evening on the town. (via)


A 1920’s Jean Patou creation. (via)


This 1925 flapper dress is made of black silk velvet and ecru velvet, trimmed with beads and rhinestones. (via)


1927 Patou in Paris. (via)


A 1925 Jean Patou creation, extraordinary beadwork with an Asian influence. (via)


Joy was created by Jean Patou in 1936 and is one of five Patou perfumes still being produced today. (via)


A 1924 photo of Jean Patou. (via)

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