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Paul Poiret Describes His Hero Jacques Doucet

Updated: Sep 2, 2019

From Poiret’s book ‘The King of Fashion: the autobiography of Paul Poiret’

"I still see myself with him, crossing the threshold of M. Doucet’s most distinguished residence in the Rue de la Ville-L’Evêque, and I remember the impression of magnificence produced on me by my future master.

He was the perfection of handsomeness and elegance, exceedingly soigné, looking as if he had just come out of bandbox. His silky beard was already white, although he was then only forty-five. He was wearing a grey suit whose cloth was marked out in little concentric lozenges, and his white gaiters partially covered shoes that were so highly polished that I had never seen anything like them. I learned afterwards that this polish was obtained by a special process, and that his shoes had to be sent back to the factory to be repolished every time he wore them.

M. Doucet’s whole setting was composed of engravings and pictures of the eighteenth century, and of rare and ancient furniture, but everything very restrained, and chosen with perfectly controlled taste. The velvet of the curtains and armchairs was moss green or mauve, and of precious quality. As I listened to him I thought that he was saying everything that I wanted to say, and that he was the man who I wished to become. In my imagination, I was already the Doucet of the future. I did not want any other model in life save him. I would have liked to be able to have made myself in his image."

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