Jeanne Paquin(23 June 1869–28 August 1936) was a leading French fashion designer, known for her resolutely modern and innovative designs. She was the first major female couturier and one of the pioneers of the modern fashion business.
Jeanne Paquin, née Jeanne Beckers le 23 juin 1869 à L'Île-Saint-Denis et décédée le 28 août 1936 à Paris 7e, est une grande couturière française. Elle est l'une des premières à avoir acquis une renommée internationale, à la fin du xixe siècle.
Jeanne Paquin was born Jeanne Marie Charlotte Beckers in 1869. Her father was a physician. She was one of five children.
Sent out to work as a young teenager, Jeanne trained as a dressmaker at Rouff (a Paris couture house established in 1884 and located on Boulevard Haussmann). She quickly rose through to ranks becoming première, in charge of the atelier.
In 1891, Jeanne Marie Charlotte Beckers married Isidore René Jacob, who was also known as Paquin. Isidore owned Paquin Lalanne et cie, a couture house which had grown out of a menswear shop in the 1840s. The couple renamed the company Paquin and set about building the business.
In 1891, Jeanne and Isidore Paquin opened their Maison de Couture at 3 Rue de la Paix in Paris, next to the celebrated House of Worth. Jeanne was in charge of design, while Isidore ran the business.
Initially, Jeanne favored the pastels in fashion at the time. Eventually, she moved on to stronger colors like black and her signature red. Black had been traditionally the color of mourning. Jeanne made the color fashionable by blending it with vividly colorful linings and embroidered trim.
Jeanne Paquin was the first couturier to send models dressed in her apparel to public events such operas and horse races for publicity. Paquin also frequently collaborated with the illustrators and architects such as Léon Bakst, George Barbier, Robert Mallet-Stevens, and Louis Süe. She was also known to collaborate with the theatre, in a time when other houses rejected collaboration. In 1913, a New York Times reporter described Jeanne as "the most commercial artist alive".
A London branch of The House of Paquin was opened in 1896 and the business became a limited company the same year. This shop employed a young Madeleine Vionnet. The company later expanded with shops in Buenos Aires and Madrid.
In 1900, Jeanne was instrumental in organizing the Universal Exhibition and she was elected president of the Fashion Section. Her designs were featured prominently at the Exhibition and Jeanne created a mannequin of herself for display.
Isidore Paquin died in 1907 at the age of 45, leaving Jeanne a widow at 38. Over 2,000 people attended Isidore's funeral. After Isidore's death, Jeanne dressed mostly in black and white.
In 1912, Jeanne and her half-brother opened a furrier, Paquin-Joire, on Fifth Avenue in New York City. The same year, Jeanne signed an exclusive illustration contract with La Gazette du Bon Ton, which featured six other leading Paris designers of the day – Louise Chéruit, Georges Doeuillet, Jacques Doucet, Paul Poiret, Redfern & Sons, and the House of Worth.
In 1913, Jeanne accepted France's prestigious Legion d’Honneur in recognition of her economic contributions to the country – the first woman designer to receive the honor. A year later, Jeanne toured the United States. For five dollars, attendees saw The House of Paquin's latest designs. Despite the high ticket price, the tour sold out.
During World War I, Jeanne served as president of the Chambre Syndicale de la Couture. She was the first woman to serve as president of an employers syndicate in France.
At its height, the House of Paquin was so well known that Edith Wharton mentioned the company by name in The House of Mirth.
At a time when couture houses employed 50 to 400 workers, the House of Paquin employed up to 2,000 people at its apex. The Queens of Spain, Belgium, and Portugal were all customers of Paquin. So were courtesans such as La Belle Otero and Liane de Pougy.
When Jeanne Paquin retired in 1920, she passed responsibility to her assistant Madeleine Wallis. Wallis remained as house designer for Paquin until 1936, the same year that Jeanne Paquin died.
Between 1936 and 1941, the Spanish designer Ana de Pombo, Wallis's assistant, was house designer. In 1941, de Pombo left, and her assistant, Antonio del Castillo (1908–1984) took over as head designer. In 1945 del Castillo left Paquin to become a designer for Elizabeth Arden, and would later become head designer for the house of Lanvin. He was succeeded by Colette Massignac, who was tasked with the challenge of keeping Paquin going during the post-War years, when new designers such as Christian Dior were receiving greater publicity and attention. In 1949, the Basque designer Lou Claverie became head designer at Paquin, until 1953, when he was succeeded by a young American designer, Alan Graham. However, Graham's understated designs failed to reinvigorate the brand of Paquin, and the Paris house closed on 1 July 1956.
Née à L'Île-Saint-Denis, Jeanne Beckers commence sa formation de modeliste pour faire son apprentissage.
En 1891, après son mariage avec Isidore Jacob, dit Paquin, elle ouvre sa propre maison de couture à Paris, 3, rue de la Paix. Ses robes du soir aux motifs « xviiie siècle », ses modèles ornés de fourrure ou de dentelle, lui assurent une grande notoriété. Femme d’affaires avisée, elle est l’une des premières à pressentir l’intérêt des techniques de promotion, n’hésitant pas à apparaître entourée de ses mannequins lors de soirées à l'opéra Garnier ou encore lors des jours de grands prix équestres, et à organiser de véritables défilés de mode pour promouvoir ses nouveaux modèles.
Elle préside la section Modes de l'Exposition universelle de 1900. Dans son stand, elle se fait représenter par un mannequin de cire vêtu d'un déshabillé brodé de roses d'or.
Associée à des partenaires britanniques, Jeanne Paquin transfère, en 1896, son siège à Londres, au 39 Dover Street, tout en gardant sa succursale de Paris. En 1912, elle ouvre à New York, au 398 de la Cinquième Avenue, une boutique consacrée à la fourrure, qu’elle confie à son demi-frère, Henri Joire et dont l'agencement est réalisé par Robert Mallet-Stevens. La même année elle fait réaliser une villa au 33, rue du Mont-Valérien à Saint-Cloud (alors en Seine-et-Oise, aujourd'hui dans les Hauts-de-Seine) par l'architecte décorateur Louis Süe. Peu de temps après, deux nouvelles succursales voient le jour à Madrid et à Buenos Aires. Elle est la première grande couturière à recevoir, en 1913, la croix de la Légion d'honneur.
Si l’inspiration de Jeanne Paquin puise largement dans le passé, elle sait également s’adapter aux évolutions de l’époque, proposant un modèle de tailleur adapté à la « civilisation du métro » ou, à la veille de la Première Guerre mondiale, une robe intermédiaire entre le tailleur et le costume. Son esprit résolument moderne s’exprime encore dans sa collaboration avec Léon Bakst pour la création de costumes de théâtre.
Présidente de la Chambre syndicale de la couture de 1917 à 1919, Jeanne Paquin se retire en 1920, laissant l’administration de la maison à Henri Joire, et la direction artistique à Madeleine Wallis. Ana de Pombo la remplace en 1936, année de la mort de Jeanne Paquin, puis cède la place en 1942 à Antonio Canovas del Castillo.
La direction de la maison revient ensuite à Colette Massignac, puis à Lou Claverie, qui sauront adapter le style des collections au New Look mis à la mode par Christian Dior. En 1956, la maison Paquin, essuyant de graves difficultés financières, cessera son activité.
La « maison Paquin » est immortalisée par la chanson de Léo Lelièvre, La Biaiseuse en 1912 (reprise notamment par Annie Cordy et Marie-Paule Belle) : « Je suis biaiseuse chez Paquin... ».
La couturière se fait construire une villa à Deauville en 1909 : le premier projet, demandé à Robert Mallet-Stevens, semblant ne pas avoir abouti, c'est finalement l'architecte Auguste Bluysen qui est retenu. Au xxie siècle, la villa est baptisée Les Abeilles.
Sir Terence Mervyn Rattigan CBE (10 June 1911 – 30 November 1977) was a British dramatist and screenwriter. His plays are typically set in an upper-middle-class background. He wrote The Winslow Boy (1946), The Browning Version (1948), The Deep Blue Sea (1952) and Separate Tables (1954), among many others.
A troubled homosexual who saw himself as an outsider, Rattigan wrote a number of plays which centred on issues of sexual frustration, failed relationships, or a world of repression and reticence.
Terence Rattigan was born in 1911 in South Kensington, London, of Irish Protestant extraction. Rattigan's birth certificate and his birth announcement in The Times indicate he was born on 9 June 1911. However, most reference books state that he was born the following day; Rattigan himself never publicly disputed this date. There is evidence suggesting that the date on the birth certificate is incorrect. He was given no middle name, but he adopted the middle name "Mervyn" in early adulthood.
He had an elder brother, Brian. They were the grandsons of Sir William Henry Rattigan, an India-based jurist, and later a Liberal Unionist Member of Parliament for North-East Lanarkshire. His father was Frank Rattigan CMG, a diplomat whose exploits included an affair with Princess Elisabeth of Romania (future consort of King George II of Greece) which resulted in her having an abortion. The Royal House of Romania is considered to be the inspiration of Rattigan's play The Sleeping Prince.
Rattigan was educated at Sandroyd School from 1920 to 1925, and Harrow School. Rattigan played cricket for the Harrow First XI and scored 29 in the Eton–Harrow match in 1929. He then went to Trinity College, Oxford.
His success as a playwright came early, with the comedy French Without Tears in 1936 which was inspired by his 1933 visit to a village called Marxzell in the Black Forest, where young English gentlemen went to learn German.
Rattigan's determination to write a more serious play produced After the Dance (1939), a satirical social drama about the "bright young things" and their failure to politically engage. The outbreak of the Second World War scuppered any chances of a long run.
During the war, Rattigan served in the Royal Air Force as a tail gunner. After the war, Rattigan alternated between comedies and dramas, establishing himself as a major playwright: the most successful of which were The Winslow Boy (1946), The Browning Version (1948), The Deep Blue Sea (1952), and Separate Tables (1954).
Rattigan's belief in understated emotions and craftsmanship was deemed old fashioned after the overnight success in 1956 of John Osborne's Look Back in Anger began the era of kitchen sink dramas by the writers known as the Angry Young Men. Rattigan responded to this critical disfavour with some bitterness. His plays Ross, Man and Boy, In Praise of Love, and Cause Célèbre, however show no sign of any decline in his talent. Rattigan explained that he wrote his plays to please a symbolic playgoer, "Aunt Edna", someone from the well-off middle-class who had conventional tastes.
Rattigan was gay, with numerous lovers but no long-term partners.
It has been claimed his work is essentially autobiographical, containing coded references to his sexuality, which he kept secret from all but his closest friends.
Rattigan was fascinated with the life and character of T. E. Lawrence. In 1960 he wrote a play called Ross, based on Lawrence's exploits. Preparations were made to film it, and Dirk Bogarde accepted the role. However, it did not proceed because the Rank Organisation withdrew its support, not wishing to offend David Lean and Sam Spiegel, who had started to film Lawrence of Arabia. Bogarde called Rank's decision "my bitterest disappointment".
The same year, a musical version of French Without Tears was staged as Joie de Vivre, with music by Robert Stolz of White Horse Inn fame. It starred Donald Sinden, lasted only four performances, and has never been revived.
Rattigan was diagnosed as having leukaemia in 1962 and recovered two years later, but fell ill again in 1968. He disliked the so-called Swinging London of the 1960s and moved abroad, living in Bermuda, where he lived off the proceeds from lucrative screenplays including The V.I.P.s and The Yellow Rolls-Royce. For a time he was the highest-paid screenwriter in the world.
In 1964, Rattigan invested £3,000 in young playwright Joe Orton's outrageous comedy Entertaining Mr Sloane, trying to get the play transferred to the West End. Although an unlikely champion of the risqué Orton, Rattigan recognised the younger man's talent and approved of what he considered a very well written piece of theatre.
Rattigan was knighted in the Queen's Birthday Honours of June 1971 for services to the theatre, being only the fourth playwright to be knighted in the 20th century (after Sir W. S. Gilbert in 1907, Sir Arthur Wing Pinero in 1909 and Sir Noël Coward in 1970). He had previously been appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE), in June 1958. He moved back to Britain, where he experienced a minor revival in his reputation before his death.
Terence Rattigan died in Hamilton, Bermuda, from bone cancer in 1977, aged 66. His cremated remains were deposited in the family vault at Kensal Green Cemetery.
In 1990, the British Library acquired Rattigan's papers consisting of 300 volumes of correspondence and papers relating to his prose and dramatic works.
There was a revival of of his plays since early 90s, In 2011, the BBC presented The Rattigan Enigma by Benedict Cumberbatch, a documentary on Rattigan's life and career presented by actor Benedict Cumberbatch, who, like Rattigan, attended Harrow.
A new screen version of The Deep Blue Sea, directed by Terence Davies, was released in 2011, starring Rachel Weisz and Tom Hiddleston.