The French couturier Jean Alexandre Patou (1887-1936) opened his dressmaker salon in 1912 named “Maison Parry”, located at roundabout of the Champs-Elysées in Paris. Becoming successful, he relocated his fashion house at the 7 rue Saint-Florentin in Paris and renamed it “Jean Patou & Cie” in 1914. He presented his first collection under his own name in 1919. The French couturier succeeded to export the French chic and to conquer the American market. America nicknamed him “The man the most elegant of Europe”. During the 1920s and 1930s, Jean Patou was the greatest rival of Coco Chanel.
The innovator and flamboyant couturier Jean Patou :
During the 1920s, “les années folles”, Jean Patou created clothes responding to the women’s desire of emancipation (ample cuts, use of jersey fabric, coordinated pullovers and cardigans, comfortable and easy to wear clothes…). He is the first designer to affix a monogram on his clothes. Besides, he founded a perfume division (1923). He invented the oil of Chaldée, the precursor of the sun cream in 1927 and the perfume the most expensive in the world “Joy” in 1929.
In the 1920’s, he also revolutioned fashion in inventing the sportwear ; he said “the sportive silhouette is the absolute chic”. The famous tenniswoman Suzanne Lenglen was a sensation when she wore a Jean Patou outfit in the tennis courts in 1921.
Jean Patou had been a costume designer for two Louise Brooks movies : “Pandora’s box” also known as “Loulou” (1929) and “Beauty prize” (1930) :
In 1930, Jean Patou earned the title of the Great Innovator. In 1936, at his death, his brother in law Raymond Barbas took up the fashion and perfume House.
The 1940s fashion by the Jean Patou House :
In the fifties, the designer Marc Bohan (1954-1958) led the artistic direction of the House and then in 1959, Karl Lagerfeld took over :
The Sixties fashion by the Jean Patou House under the artistic direction of Karl Lagerfeld (1959-1963) and then of Michel Goma (1965-1974) :
The Seventies fashion by the Jean Patou House under the artistic direction of Michel Goma (1965-1974), then of Angelo Tarlazzi (1974-1977) :
The 1980s with Christian Lacroix as artistic director of the Jean Patou House (1981-1987) :
In 1987, the couture division of the Jean Patou House stopped. In 2001, Procter and Gamble bought the assets of the limited company Jean Patou Parfumeur relating to the fabrication and distribution activities of the products Jean Patou and Lacoste. In 2004, the Jean Patou House moved to 5 rue Castiglione in Paris. In 2011, the English group Designer Parfums acquired the Jean Patou House.
In 2018, the luxury group LVMH took the control of Jean Patou. The group wants to renew the fashion segment. The stylist Guillaume Henry is appointed as the artistic directed of Jean Patou.
Hi there, thanks for this post, its a great timeline of the Patou house. I have a Jean Patou dress that I’m trying to work out the era of, it seems to fit in the early 60’s Lagerfeld era to me judging by the other images. If I emailed a picture, do you think you’d know when it was made, or could you please point me in the direction of someone who would?
Thanks so much
I am not able to estimate the date area of a dress. But there are websites which may help you like https://sammydvintage.com/vintage-style/how-to-date-clothing-vintage/ or websites on clothes in the 60s like https://vintagedancer.com/1960s/1960s-fashion-womens/