Jean Patou, is first of all, a history of independence. A history of a modern man who became a fashion designer at 22, a man who loved fast cars, luxury, fine materials and rare books. A man in love with risk from casinos to business. The story of Jean Patou is a love story with women, to dress and flowers, to perfume the world.
Inventor of sportswear, a revolution in fashion, his clothes enabled women to combine chic with casual. The gestures are free, the style is timeless, from a morning playing golf to an evening at the opera, there is always a touch of Patou.
« The first wish of a man should be that he be ‘of his own time’. »
Harper’s Bazaar, february, 1926
Suzanne Lenglen, world champion of tennis becomes the sport ambassador of the house of Patou. The dress is pleated, in a washable silk - a novelty, the cardigan is cut in a soft wool jersey borrowed from the masculine wardrobe.
The outfit is signed « Jean Patou », and no one can ignore it because his two interlaced initials are embroidered on the garment.
In his fashion as in his perfumes, Jean Patou was a pioneer of modernity. Contemporary of the Art Deco and Bauhaus movements, he draws from historical references - the drapes of ancient Greece, the low cut waist of the Middle Ages and mixes it with the harmony of geometric lines and contrasting colors, his trademark.
"Evolution not revolution is my motto," recalls Jean Patou. Yet, under his impulse, a revolution is underway. A revolution that no designer knows how to revere since: that of the unique outfit, donned in the morning and kept until the evening, accessorised throughout the day, an outfit to live and enjoy, with elegance and chic.
The Patou woman does not go unnoticed. She loves color and does not hide it. "Patou Red", "Patou Blue", "Green Nile Patou", all nuances are explored by this trendsetting colourist. From Pink Beige that pleases sportswomen, to "Red Capucine” that illuminates the evening.
Jean Patou develops the concept of a "weekend suitcase”. From bathing suits to beach pyjamas, from dancing dresses, to cardigans to play tennis, the compositions are multiple and interchangeable. Dressing becomes a game and a dream.
« The sports
silhouette is the
smart silhouette. »
In 1925, Jean Patou chose to expand his work as a couturier and started high-perfumery. Natural flowers, crystal bottles and elegant finishes, all the ingredients of excellence are summoned.
A philosophy of luxury, dear to its founder, has since remained unchanged. Lover of women, Jean Patou wished that every woman, no matter how unique, recognizes herself in a Patou perfume. Three fragrances are first proposed, one for brunettes, the other for blondes and the third for redheads. Then came "Le Sien", the first unisex perfume in the history of perfumery, and "Normandy" in tribute to the famous transatlantic and "Vacances", in 1936, to the first French paid holidays.
And then came "Joy", created in 1930 at the height of the economic crisis. Joy, a sumptous blend of roses and jasmine, is the antidote to gloom. Conceived as a perfume to reveal the essence of femininity of every woman, “Joy” is a timeless fragrance, the signature of the house Jean Patou.
Every Jean Patou bottle is a jewel in its own right. The same techniques and craftsmanship are still used today. The bottles have retained the Art Deco forms dear to Patou’s friend Louis Süe, who came up with the original design. The cut glass flask decorated with gold leaf is filled drop by drop. The stopper is then sealed by hand with a gold thread and stamped.
A work of timeless beauty.