About the WorkThis image was originally an evening coat design for Poiret in 1913, and was redrawn for Harper's Bazaar in 1915. Paul Poiret was a French fashion designer. His contributions to twentieth-century fashion have been likened to Picasso's contributions to twentieth-century art. In January 1913, Erté took his sketches to Poiret and secured an 18-month contract.
Ermine is a heraldic fur representing the winter coat of the stoat. Brocade is a class of richly decorative shuttle-woven fabrics, often made in colored silks and with or without gold and silver threads. In this image, we can see the ermine white fur and the decorative fabric used by Erté in the design of this coat.
About the Artist
Erté was born Romain de Tirtoff in St. Petersburg, Russia on November 23rd, 1892 and was raised amidst Russia's social elite. At the age of five he created an evening gown for his mother and managed to persuade the adults to craft it, they were astounded by the results. In 1912, Romain left St. Petersburg for Paris at the age of nineteen with the aim of becoming an artist. After working with Paul " Le Magnifique" Poiret on several theatrical productions Romain, still under the pseudonym of Erte, began to work more independently. He hand-crafted original costume and fashion designs for many of the era’s most renowned actresses, including Joan Crawford, Lillian Gish, Marion Davies, Anna Pavlova, Norma Shearer, and others. His masterpieces for the stage included extravagant production designs at venues such as New York’s Radio City Music Hall, the Casino de Paris, and the Paris Opera. In 1915 he began his long professional relationship with Harper's Bazaar and created 240 covers for the esteemed magazine. For 6 months in 1916, Erté simultaneously worked with Vogue as well. As a result of his highly publicized success, Erté would later be called the father of the ‘Art Deco’ movement.