"The modern woman leads an active life, and the creator must therefore dress her accordingly, in the most simple way, whilst maintaining her charm and femininity." Jean Patou
I'm feeling a bit out of sync wanting to talk about my latest vintage find while everyone else is going on about the newest collections. Normally I'm not even such a big fan of old clothes. Don't get me wrong, my wardrobe consists of lots of old garments, which I love because these clothes once belonged to my grandma, or my mum or my dad or someone else I have an affinity to; but I usually don't get a big thrill from second hand clothes. Only sometimes…
It was when we were rummaging through delicious ball gowns in 'Sterling Gold', a shop that specializes on vintage dresses (so what am I doing in a vintage shop anyway you might rightly ask…), when my eyes fell on this skirt and top adorned with little metal discs (or are they dots?) by Jean Patou. 'I don’t want nothing for myself', I think, 'nooothing!' Well, that was that. The costume fits like a glove (so much so that every time I dare to eat I feel guilty), but that's fashion for you.
Apart from the name and that it was quite a famous fashion house in the 20s (and in strong competition with Chanel), I didn't know much about Jean Patou. 'Joy' comes to mind, the famous and expensive perfume. But did you know that Monsieur Patou is cited as the inventor of the tennis skirt and of knitted bathing suits? Together with Coco he was a very modern influence in his time, moving fashion towards the sporty and comfortable. Even after his death the house of Patou had some notable Art Directors – a 20 year old Karl Lagerfeld, Jean-Paul Gaultier, Christian Lacroix… I just wish I knew from which period my piece is from.
skirt & top: jean patou, shoes: marc by marc jacobs