Recent History

Following Patou's death, Raymond Barbas became chairman of the House of Patou. Barbas had been particularly involved with the designer's perfumes since the mid-1920s, and the company went on to launch several new perfumes after 1936, including Colony (1938), L'Heure Attendue (1946), and Câline (1964). Designers for the House of Pa-tou have included Marc Bohan and his assistant, Gérard Pipart (1953-1957); Karl Lagerfeld (1958-1963), Michel Goma and his assistant, Jean-Paul Gaultier (1963-1974); Angelo Tarlazzi (1973-1976); Gonzalés (1977-1981); and Christian Lacroix (1981-1987). The last fashion collection to be offered under the Patou label was shown for fallwinter 1987.

Since then the company has focused upon fragrances, continuing to produce new ones for both the American and European markets, and since 1984 on recreating a dozen of Patou's original fragrances under the direction of Jean Kerléo at the request of longstanding clients. As of 2004 Jean Patou was run by P&G Prestige Beauté, a division of Procter and Gamble.

See also Chanel, Gabrielle (Coco); Gaultier, Jean-Paul; Haute Couture; Lacroix, Christian; Lagerfeld, Karl; Paris Fashion; Perfume; Sportswear; Swimwear; Vogue.


Chase, Edna Woolman, and Ilka Chase. Always in Vogue. London: Gollancz, 1954. Fashion memoirs of the editor of American Vogue. Includes accounts of the competition for editorial space between Chanel and Patou, rival houses that copied Patou's clothes, and the designer's recruitment of American models.

Etherington-Smith, Meredith. Patou. London: Hutchinson, 1983. Includes biographical details and major design achievements. Illustrated in black and white. Line drawings from Vogue magazine and the Patou archive are not attributed or dated.

Amy de la Haye

PATTERNS AND PATTERN MAKING Clothing production was originally the responsibility of women. After the advent of form-fitting clothing in the thirteenth century, the responsibility expanded to include professional tailors and dressmakers. From the mid-fourteenth century, tailors authored published works on methods for cutting and constructing clothing. "How-To" books for the home dressmaker were published by the late eighteenth century and by the 1830s, small diagrams of pattern shapes appeared in various professional journals and women's magazines. Full-size patterns as free supplements with fashion periodicals emerged in the 1840s in Germany and France. In the United States, fashion periodicals introduced full-size pattern supplements by 1854. Unlike their European contemporaries, American pattern manufacturers produced patterns for the retail and mail-order market, thereby establishing the commercial pattern industry.

The earliest surviving tailors' patterns appeared in Juan de Alcega's Libro de Geometria pratica y trac a para (1580). Garasault's Descriptions des arts et metiers (1769), and Diderot's L'Encyclopédie Diderot et D'Alembert: arts de l'habillement (1776), played a crucial role during the Enlightenment to disseminate practical knowledge (Kidwell, p. 4). Intended for the professional tailor, the pattern drafts were the first that were generally available to the public. A number of publications, such as the American The Tailors' Instructor by Queen and Lapsley (1809), and other journals specifically for the professional tailor proliferated in the nineteenth century. These included tailored garments for both sexes.

For the home dressmaker, manuals with full-size patterns and pattern drafts written for charitable ladies sewing for the poor included Instructions for Cutting out Apparel for the Poor (1789) and The Lady's Economical Assistant (1808). These featured full-size patterns for caps, baby linen, and men's shirts. The Workwoman's Guide (1838) contains pattern drafts, drawings of the finished piece, and pattern drafting instructions.

Small pattern diagrams became a popular method of promoting the latest women's and children's fashions. Appearing in Godey's Lady's Book and Peterson's Magazine in the early 1850s, these were unsized with no scale given for enlarging the diagram. Full-scale, foldout patterns were issued as supplements in periodicals as early as 1841 in France and Germany, and in England in The World of Fashions (1850).

Embroidery Patterns From England
Dictionary of Sciences, ca. 1770. This image from the classical eighteenth-century French reference guide illustrates an embroidery workshop along with a contemporary dressmaking pattern. © Historical Picture Archive/Corbis. Reproduced by permission.
Farout Fashion

Farout Fashion

Get All The Support And Guidance You Need To Be A Success At Far out Fashion. This Book Is One Of The Most Valuable Resources In The World When It Comes To A Look at the Latest Craziest Fashion Fads.

Get My Free Ebook


  • Mira
    When in the colonies dressmakers in thirteenth century?
    6 years ago

Post a comment