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Historical Fashion ~ House of Worth

Charles Frederick Worth (1826-1895), widely considered the Father of Haute Couture, was an English fashion designer of the 19th century, whose works were produced in Paris. He worked at several prosperous London drapery shops before moving to Paris in 1846. He was hired by Gagelin and Opigez, well-known Parisian drapers. While working in their shop, he married one of the firm's models, Marie Vernet. Marie would model shawls and bonnets for prospective customers. Worth made a few simple dresses for his wife and customers started to ask for copies of the dresses as well. Many of his customers travelled to Paris from other countries, coming from as far away as New York and Boston. Much of his work is associated with the movement to redefine the female fashionable shape, removing excessive ruffles and frills and using rich fabrics in simple but flattering outlines.He is credited as the first designer to put labels onto the clothing he manufactured. Worth gave his customers luxurious materials and meticulous fit. Rather than let the customer dictate the design, as had previously been dressmaking practice, four times a year he displayed model dresses at fashion shows. His patronesses would pick a model, which would then be sewn in fabrics of their choice and tailored to their figure. He completely revolutionised the business of dressmaking. His sons, Gaston-Lucien (1853–1924) and Jean-Philippe (1856–1926), took over their father's business following his death in 1895 and succeeded in maintaining his high standards. The great fashion dynasty finally came to an end in 1952 when Charles Frederick Worth's great-grandson, Jean-Charles (1881–1962), retired from the family business.

Evening Dress, House of Worth, 1880's, French, Made of satin, tulle, taffeta, and lace

Dress, House of Worth, 1870, French, Made of silk and lace

Woman's dress | Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Afternoon Dress, House of Worth, 1880, French, Made of silk, satin, and velvet

Afternoon dress

Evening Dress, House of Worth, 1880, French, Made of bengaline and tulle

Dress | Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Dress, House of Worth 1877, French, Made of silk and velvet

Dress | Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Evening Dress, 1885-90, House of Worth, French, Made of silk and chiffon

Evening dress | Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Mourning Dress, House of Worth, 1896, French, Made of silk and velvet

Woman’s dress | Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Maison Worth couture oriental brocade evening gown, late 1930's

One Item - Kerry Taylor Auctions

Evening Dress, House of Worth 1915, American, Made of satin~~~Black charmeuse satin trimmed with beads, black velvet, and white net, from the House of Worth in Paris. The first lady wore the dress in 1915 for a private dinner party at the White House. Worn by First Lady Edith Wilson.

Ball Gown, House of Worth 1898, French, Made of silk

Ensemble, House of Worth 1924, French, Made of silk, wool, and feathers