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Charles Frederick Worth

Charles Frederick Worth

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Charles Frederick Worth (1826-1895), widely considered the Father of Haute couture
Haute couture
Haute couture refers to the creation of exclusive custom-fitted clothing. Haute couture is made to order for a specific customer, and it is usually made from high-quality, expensive fabric and sewn with extreme attention to detail and finished by the most experienced and capable seamstresses,...

, was an English fashion designer of the 19th century, whose works were produced in Paris.

Career


Born in Bourne, Lincolnshire
Bourne, Lincolnshire
Bourne is a market town and civil parish on the western edge of the Fens, in the District of South Kesteven in southern Lincolnshire, England.-The town:...

, England, Worth made his mark in the French fashion industry. 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.

Worth, by now a junior partner in the firm, urged his partners to expand into dressmaking, but they hesitated to risk their reputation in a business as low-class as dressmaking. Worth found a wealthy Swede, Otto Bobergh, who was willing to bankroll the venture and opened the dressmaking establishment of Worth and Bobergh in 1858. Worth was soon patronised by the French Empress Eugénie, and after that by many titled, rich, and otherwise notable women. Catherine Walters
Catherine Walters
Catherine Walters, also known as "Skittles" , was a fashion trendsetter and one of the last of the great courtesans of Victorian London...

 and Cora Pearl
Cora Pearl
Cora Pearl was a famous courtesan of the 19th century French demimonde, born Emma Elizabeth Crouch.- Early life :Her date and place of birth are disputed, as she was believed to have forged her birth certificate, giving the date as 23 February 1842, and the place as Caroline Place, East...

, the famous demimondaines, and Pauline von Metternich, an Austrian princess and musical patron, were Worth devotees, the infamous beauty Virginia Oldoini, Countess di Castiglione was often dressed by him. He also dressed actresses such as Sarah Bernhardt
Sarah Bernhardt
Sarah Bernhardt was a French stage and early film actress, and has been referred to as "the most famous actress the world has ever known". Bernhardt made her fame on the stages of France in the 1870s, and was soon in demand in Europe and the Americas...

 and singers such as Nellie Melba
Nellie Melba
Dame Nellie Melba GBE , born Helen "Nellie" Porter Mitchell, was an Australian operatic soprano. She became one of the most famous singers of the late Victorian Era and the early 20th century...

. Many of his customers travelled to Paris from other countries, coming from as far away as New York and Boston
Boston
Boston is the capital of and largest city in Massachusetts, and is one of the oldest cities in the United States. The largest city in New England, Boston is regarded as the unofficial "Capital of New England" for its economic and cultural impact on the entire New England region. The city proper had...

. 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. Worth was sufficiently fashionable that he had to turn away customers. This only added to his éclat. He completely revolutionised the business of dressmaking. He was the first of the couturier
Couturier
A couturier is an establishment or person involved in the clothing fashion industry who makes original garments to order for private clients. A couturier may make what is known as haute couture. Such a person usually hires patternmakers and machinists for garment production, and is either employed...

s, dressmakers considered artists rather than mere artisans.

Worth and Bobergh shut down during the Franco-Prussian War
Franco-Prussian War
The Franco-Prussian War or Franco-German War, often referred to in France as the 1870 War was a conflict between the Second French Empire and the Kingdom of Prussia. Prussia was aided by the North German Confederation, of which it was a member, and the South German states of Baden, Württemberg and...

 and re-opened in 1871, without Bobergh, as the House of Worth
House of Worth
The House of Worth is a Haute Couture fashion house founded in the 1850s by Charles Frederick Worth. Today the house is owned by Shaneel Enterprises, entrepreneurs of Indian descent, based in the UK...

. Worth took his sons, Gaston (founder of Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture) and Jean-Philippe, into his business and the couture house continued to flourish after his death in 1895.

Commemoration


The life and work of Charles Worth has been celebrated with the opening of the Charles Worth Gallery at the Heritage Centre at Bourne, in Lincolnshire, his birthplace.

Mrs Brenda Jones, chairman of Bourne Civic Society
Bourne Civic Society
Bourne Civic Society is a voluntary organization concerned with the development of the town and community of Bourne, Lincolnshire, England.It was founded in 1977 at a time of a rapid expansion of the town...

 that administers the centre, and her husband Jim, decided to create the exhibition with one of his famous dresses as the centrepiece. The perfect solution would have been to purchase an original dress but they are virtually unobtainable and all surviving examples are scattered around museums in Europe and America. But photographs do exist and she recruited seamstresses to copy one of the costumes in minute detail, the materials, the sewing and the means of display, and the gallery was given a civic opening in April 2006.

The dress that has been copied, using material from the period and specially bought from London, is a style known as Visite and made from off white silk with braid and bead trimming, originally designed by Worth in 1885 and bearing the label of his salon at No 7 Rue de la Paix in Paris. This is the centrepiece of the display with two additional dresses, together with other costumes and accessories loaned by members and friends including an original jacket bought from the House of Worth in Paris. Framed photographs and documents illustrating Worth’s life and career adorn the walls and a computer in the foyer has been specially programmed to play a continual pictorial record of his dress designs.

The ladies responsible for the project, namely Lesley Wade, Clare Hart and Debbie Hallam, have now completed a second replica
Replica
A replica is a copy closely resembling the original concerning its shape and appearance. An inverted replica complements the original by filling its gaps. It can be a copy used for historical purposes, such as being placed in a museum. Sometimes the original never existed. For example, Difference...

 Worth creation for the gallery, this time a magnificent reception dress in red velvet and silk that has enhanced the exhibition even further. The original of this dress was fashioned circa 1883 and was graced with his exclusive label "Worth 7, Rue de la Paix".

Court Presentation Dress


Court Presentation Dress by Charles Worth (see image in Gallery)

This presentation dress, c.1895, is from the House of Charles Frederick Worth. The House of Worth
House of Worth
The House of Worth is a Haute Couture fashion house founded in the 1850s by Charles Frederick Worth. Today the house is owned by Shaneel Enterprises, entrepreneurs of Indian descent, based in the UK...

 was in many ways a new departure, marking a shift from the old fashioned dressmaker to something much closer to the modern couturier or fashion designer.

The dress was designed specifically for presentation at court, worn by a Debutante
Debutante
A débutante is a young lady from an aristocratic or upper class family who has reached the age of maturity, and as a new adult, is introduced to society at a formal "début" presentation. It should not be confused with a Debs...

. It is made from heavy pure silk satin, hand embroidered with metallic beads, sequins and diamante in a sumptuous floral design. It is trimmed with hand-made lace and like all presentation dresses has a richly worked long train. Trains, which had always formed an important part of court dress, extended from three feet to eight feet by 1870 and even longer by the end of the century. Trains were fastened at this period from the waist and were often made of costly and ornate materials.

Presentation at court was an important milestone in the life of a young woman, marking her emergence into the adult world and providing her with a passport to the most exclusive social circles–-and the chance of getting a rich husband. It is thought that Queen Charlotte, wife of George III, was the first queen to have young ladies presented to her at drawing rooms as an acknowledgment of their ‘coming out’ in society. From 1837 these young girls were known as debutantes.

This tradition drew to a close in the 1950s.

Gallery


Charles Frederick Worth (1826-1895), widely considered the Father of Haute couture
Haute couture
Haute couture refers to the creation of exclusive custom-fitted clothing. Haute couture is made to order for a specific customer, and it is usually made from high-quality, expensive fabric and sewn with extreme attention to detail and finished by the most experienced and capable seamstresses,...

, was an English fashion designer of the 19th century, whose works were produced in Paris.

Career


Born in Bourne, Lincolnshire
Bourne, Lincolnshire
Bourne is a market town and civil parish on the western edge of the Fens, in the District of South Kesteven in southern Lincolnshire, England.-The town:...

, England, Worth made his mark in the French fashion industry. 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.

Worth, by now a junior partner in the firm, urged his partners to expand into dressmaking, but they hesitated to risk their reputation in a business as low-class as dressmaking. Worth found a wealthy Swede, Otto Bobergh, who was willing to bankroll the venture and opened the dressmaking establishment of Worth and Bobergh in 1858. Worth was soon patronised by the French Empress Eugénie, and after that by many titled, rich, and otherwise notable women. Catherine Walters
Catherine Walters
Catherine Walters, also known as "Skittles" , was a fashion trendsetter and one of the last of the great courtesans of Victorian London...

 and Cora Pearl
Cora Pearl
Cora Pearl was a famous courtesan of the 19th century French demimonde, born Emma Elizabeth Crouch.- Early life :Her date and place of birth are disputed, as she was believed to have forged her birth certificate, giving the date as 23 February 1842, and the place as Caroline Place, East...

, the famous demimondaines, and Pauline von Metternich, an Austrian princess and musical patron, were Worth devotees, the infamous beauty Virginia Oldoini, Countess di Castiglione was often dressed by him. He also dressed actresses such as Sarah Bernhardt
Sarah Bernhardt
Sarah Bernhardt was a French stage and early film actress, and has been referred to as "the most famous actress the world has ever known". Bernhardt made her fame on the stages of France in the 1870s, and was soon in demand in Europe and the Americas...

 and singers such as Nellie Melba
Nellie Melba
Dame Nellie Melba GBE , born Helen "Nellie" Porter Mitchell, was an Australian operatic soprano. She became one of the most famous singers of the late Victorian Era and the early 20th century...

. Many of his customers travelled to Paris from other countries, coming from as far away as New York and Boston
Boston
Boston is the capital of and largest city in Massachusetts, and is one of the oldest cities in the United States. The largest city in New England, Boston is regarded as the unofficial "Capital of New England" for its economic and cultural impact on the entire New England region. The city proper had...

. 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. Worth was sufficiently fashionable that he had to turn away customers. This only added to his éclat. He completely revolutionised the business of dressmaking. He was the first of the couturier
Couturier
A couturier is an establishment or person involved in the clothing fashion industry who makes original garments to order for private clients. A couturier may make what is known as haute couture. Such a person usually hires patternmakers and machinists for garment production, and is either employed...

s, dressmakers considered artists rather than mere artisans.

Worth and Bobergh shut down during the Franco-Prussian War
Franco-Prussian War
The Franco-Prussian War or Franco-German War, often referred to in France as the 1870 War was a conflict between the Second French Empire and the Kingdom of Prussia. Prussia was aided by the North German Confederation, of which it was a member, and the South German states of Baden, Württemberg and...

 and re-opened in 1871, without Bobergh, as the House of Worth
House of Worth
The House of Worth is a Haute Couture fashion house founded in the 1850s by Charles Frederick Worth. Today the house is owned by Shaneel Enterprises, entrepreneurs of Indian descent, based in the UK...

. Worth took his sons, Gaston (founder of Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture) and Jean-Philippe, into his business and the couture house continued to flourish after his death in 1895.

Commemoration


The life and work of Charles Worth has been celebrated with the opening of the Charles Worth Gallery at the Heritage Centre at Bourne, in Lincolnshire, his birthplace.

Mrs Brenda Jones, chairman of Bourne Civic Society
Bourne Civic Society
Bourne Civic Society is a voluntary organization concerned with the development of the town and community of Bourne, Lincolnshire, England.It was founded in 1977 at a time of a rapid expansion of the town...

 that administers the centre, and her husband Jim, decided to create the exhibition with one of his famous dresses as the centrepiece. The perfect solution would have been to purchase an original dress but they are virtually unobtainable and all surviving examples are scattered around museums in Europe and America. But photographs do exist and she recruited seamstresses to copy one of the costumes in minute detail, the materials, the sewing and the means of display, and the gallery was given a civic opening in April 2006.

The dress that has been copied, using material from the period and specially bought from London, is a style known as Visite and made from off white silk with braid and bead trimming, originally designed by Worth in 1885 and bearing the label of his salon at No 7 Rue de la Paix in Paris. This is the centrepiece of the display with two additional dresses, together with other costumes and accessories loaned by members and friends including an original jacket bought from the House of Worth in Paris. Framed photographs and documents illustrating Worth’s life and career adorn the walls and a computer in the foyer has been specially programmed to play a continual pictorial record of his dress designs.

The ladies responsible for the project, namely Lesley Wade, Clare Hart and Debbie Hallam, have now completed a second replica
Replica
A replica is a copy closely resembling the original concerning its shape and appearance. An inverted replica complements the original by filling its gaps. It can be a copy used for historical purposes, such as being placed in a museum. Sometimes the original never existed. For example, Difference...

 Worth creation for the gallery, this time a magnificent reception dress in red velvet and silk that has enhanced the exhibition even further. The original of this dress was fashioned circa 1883 and was graced with his exclusive label "Worth 7, Rue de la Paix".

Court Presentation Dress


Court Presentation Dress by Charles Worth (see image in Gallery)

This presentation dress, c.1895, is from the House of Charles Frederick Worth. The House of Worth
House of Worth
The House of Worth is a Haute Couture fashion house founded in the 1850s by Charles Frederick Worth. Today the house is owned by Shaneel Enterprises, entrepreneurs of Indian descent, based in the UK...

 was in many ways a new departure, marking a shift from the old fashioned dressmaker to something much closer to the modern couturier or fashion designer.

The dress was designed specifically for presentation at court, worn by a Debutante
Debutante
A débutante is a young lady from an aristocratic or upper class family who has reached the age of maturity, and as a new adult, is introduced to society at a formal "début" presentation. It should not be confused with a Debs...

. It is made from heavy pure silk satin, hand embroidered with metallic beads, sequins and diamante in a sumptuous floral design. It is trimmed with hand-made lace and like all presentation dresses has a richly worked long train. Trains, which had always formed an important part of court dress, extended from three feet to eight feet by 1870 and even longer by the end of the century. Trains were fastened at this period from the waist and were often made of costly and ornate materials.

Presentation at court was an important milestone in the life of a young woman, marking her emergence into the adult world and providing her with a passport to the most exclusive social circles–-and the chance of getting a rich husband. It is thought that Queen Charlotte, wife of George III, was the first queen to have young ladies presented to her at drawing rooms as an acknowledgment of their ‘coming out’ in society. From 1837 these young girls were known as debutantes.

This tradition drew to a close in the 1950s.

Gallery


Charles Frederick Worth (1826-1895), widely considered the Father of Haute couture
Haute couture
Haute couture refers to the creation of exclusive custom-fitted clothing. Haute couture is made to order for a specific customer, and it is usually made from high-quality, expensive fabric and sewn with extreme attention to detail and finished by the most experienced and capable seamstresses,...

, was an English fashion designer of the 19th century, whose works were produced in Paris.

Career


Born in Bourne, Lincolnshire
Bourne, Lincolnshire
Bourne is a market town and civil parish on the western edge of the Fens, in the District of South Kesteven in southern Lincolnshire, England.-The town:...

, England, Worth made his mark in the French fashion industry. 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.

Worth, by now a junior partner in the firm, urged his partners to expand into dressmaking, but they hesitated to risk their reputation in a business as low-class as dressmaking. Worth found a wealthy Swede, Otto Bobergh, who was willing to bankroll the venture and opened the dressmaking establishment of Worth and Bobergh in 1858. Worth was soon patronised by the French Empress Eugénie, and after that by many titled, rich, and otherwise notable women. Catherine Walters
Catherine Walters
Catherine Walters, also known as "Skittles" , was a fashion trendsetter and one of the last of the great courtesans of Victorian London...

 and Cora Pearl
Cora Pearl
Cora Pearl was a famous courtesan of the 19th century French demimonde, born Emma Elizabeth Crouch.- Early life :Her date and place of birth are disputed, as she was believed to have forged her birth certificate, giving the date as 23 February 1842, and the place as Caroline Place, East...

, the famous demimondaines, and Pauline von Metternich, an Austrian princess and musical patron, were Worth devotees, the infamous beauty Virginia Oldoini, Countess di Castiglione was often dressed by him. He also dressed actresses such as Sarah Bernhardt
Sarah Bernhardt
Sarah Bernhardt was a French stage and early film actress, and has been referred to as "the most famous actress the world has ever known". Bernhardt made her fame on the stages of France in the 1870s, and was soon in demand in Europe and the Americas...

 and singers such as Nellie Melba
Nellie Melba
Dame Nellie Melba GBE , born Helen "Nellie" Porter Mitchell, was an Australian operatic soprano. She became one of the most famous singers of the late Victorian Era and the early 20th century...

. Many of his customers travelled to Paris from other countries, coming from as far away as New York and Boston
Boston
Boston is the capital of and largest city in Massachusetts, and is one of the oldest cities in the United States. The largest city in New England, Boston is regarded as the unofficial "Capital of New England" for its economic and cultural impact on the entire New England region. The city proper had...

. 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. Worth was sufficiently fashionable that he had to turn away customers. This only added to his éclat. He completely revolutionised the business of dressmaking. He was the first of the couturier
Couturier
A couturier is an establishment or person involved in the clothing fashion industry who makes original garments to order for private clients. A couturier may make what is known as haute couture. Such a person usually hires patternmakers and machinists for garment production, and is either employed...

s, dressmakers considered artists rather than mere artisans.

Worth and Bobergh shut down during the Franco-Prussian War
Franco-Prussian War
The Franco-Prussian War or Franco-German War, often referred to in France as the 1870 War was a conflict between the Second French Empire and the Kingdom of Prussia. Prussia was aided by the North German Confederation, of which it was a member, and the South German states of Baden, Württemberg and...

 and re-opened in 1871, without Bobergh, as the House of Worth
House of Worth
The House of Worth is a Haute Couture fashion house founded in the 1850s by Charles Frederick Worth. Today the house is owned by Shaneel Enterprises, entrepreneurs of Indian descent, based in the UK...

. Worth took his sons, Gaston (founder of Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture) and Jean-Philippe, into his business and the couture house continued to flourish after his death in 1895.

Commemoration


The life and work of Charles Worth has been celebrated with the opening of the Charles Worth Gallery at the Heritage Centre at Bourne, in Lincolnshire, his birthplace.

Mrs Brenda Jones, chairman of Bourne Civic Society
Bourne Civic Society
Bourne Civic Society is a voluntary organization concerned with the development of the town and community of Bourne, Lincolnshire, England.It was founded in 1977 at a time of a rapid expansion of the town...

 that administers the centre, and her husband Jim, decided to create the exhibition with one of his famous dresses as the centrepiece. The perfect solution would have been to purchase an original dress but they are virtually unobtainable and all surviving examples are scattered around museums in Europe and America. But photographs do exist and she recruited seamstresses to copy one of the costumes in minute detail, the materials, the sewing and the means of display, and the gallery was given a civic opening in April 2006.

The dress that has been copied, using material from the period and specially bought from London, is a style known as Visite and made from off white silk with braid and bead trimming, originally designed by Worth in 1885 and bearing the label of his salon at No 7 Rue de la Paix in Paris. This is the centrepiece of the display with two additional dresses, together with other costumes and accessories loaned by members and friends including an original jacket bought from the House of Worth in Paris. Framed photographs and documents illustrating Worth’s life and career adorn the walls and a computer in the foyer has been specially programmed to play a continual pictorial record of his dress designs.

The ladies responsible for the project, namely Lesley Wade, Clare Hart and Debbie Hallam, have now completed a second replica
Replica
A replica is a copy closely resembling the original concerning its shape and appearance. An inverted replica complements the original by filling its gaps. It can be a copy used for historical purposes, such as being placed in a museum. Sometimes the original never existed. For example, Difference...

 Worth creation for the gallery, this time a magnificent reception dress in red velvet and silk that has enhanced the exhibition even further. The original of this dress was fashioned circa 1883 and was graced with his exclusive label "Worth 7, Rue de la Paix".

Court Presentation Dress


Court Presentation Dress by Charles Worth (see image in Gallery)

This presentation dress, c.1895, is from the House of Charles Frederick Worth. The House of Worth
House of Worth
The House of Worth is a Haute Couture fashion house founded in the 1850s by Charles Frederick Worth. Today the house is owned by Shaneel Enterprises, entrepreneurs of Indian descent, based in the UK...

 was in many ways a new departure, marking a shift from the old fashioned dressmaker to something much closer to the modern couturier or fashion designer.

The dress was designed specifically for presentation at court, worn by a Debutante
Debutante
A débutante is a young lady from an aristocratic or upper class family who has reached the age of maturity, and as a new adult, is introduced to society at a formal "début" presentation. It should not be confused with a Debs...

. It is made from heavy pure silk satin, hand embroidered with metallic beads, sequins and diamante in a sumptuous floral design. It is trimmed with hand-made lace and like all presentation dresses has a richly worked long train. Trains, which had always formed an important part of court dress, extended from three feet to eight feet by 1870 and even longer by the end of the century. Trains were fastened at this period from the waist and were often made of costly and ornate materials.

Presentation at court was an important milestone in the life of a young woman, marking her emergence into the adult world and providing her with a passport to the most exclusive social circles–-and the chance of getting a rich husband. It is thought that Queen Charlotte, wife of George III, was the first queen to have young ladies presented to her at drawing rooms as an acknowledgment of their ‘coming out’ in society. From 1837 these young girls were known as debutantes.

This tradition drew to a close in the 1950s.

Gallery


Charles Frederick Worth (1826-1895), widely considered the Father of Haute couture
Haute couture
Haute couture refers to the creation of exclusive custom-fitted clothing. Haute couture is made to order for a specific customer, and it is usually made from high-quality, expensive fabric and sewn with extreme attention to detail and finished by the most experienced and capable seamstresses,...

, was an English fashion designer of the 19th century, whose works were produced in Paris.

Career


Born in Bourne, Lincolnshire
Bourne, Lincolnshire
Bourne is a market town and civil parish on the western edge of the Fens, in the District of South Kesteven in southern Lincolnshire, England.-The town:...

, England, Worth made his mark in the French fashion industry. 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.

Worth, by now a junior partner in the firm, urged his partners to expand into dressmaking, but they hesitated to risk their reputation in a business as low-class as dressmaking. Worth found a wealthy Swede, Otto Bobergh, who was willing to bankroll the venture and opened the dressmaking establishment of Worth and Bobergh in 1858. Worth was soon patronised by the French Empress Eugénie, and after that by many titled, rich, and otherwise notable women. Catherine Walters
Catherine Walters
Catherine Walters, also known as "Skittles" , was a fashion trendsetter and one of the last of the great courtesans of Victorian London...

 and Cora Pearl
Cora Pearl
Cora Pearl was a famous courtesan of the 19th century French demimonde, born Emma Elizabeth Crouch.- Early life :Her date and place of birth are disputed, as she was believed to have forged her birth certificate, giving the date as 23 February 1842, and the place as Caroline Place, East...

, the famous demimondaines, and Pauline von Metternich, an Austrian princess and musical patron, were Worth devotees, the infamous beauty Virginia Oldoini, Countess di Castiglione was often dressed by him. He also dressed actresses such as Sarah Bernhardt
Sarah Bernhardt
Sarah Bernhardt was a French stage and early film actress, and has been referred to as "the most famous actress the world has ever known". Bernhardt made her fame on the stages of France in the 1870s, and was soon in demand in Europe and the Americas...

 and singers such as Nellie Melba
Nellie Melba
Dame Nellie Melba GBE , born Helen "Nellie" Porter Mitchell, was an Australian operatic soprano. She became one of the most famous singers of the late Victorian Era and the early 20th century...

. Many of his customers travelled to Paris from other countries, coming from as far away as New York and Boston
Boston
Boston is the capital of and largest city in Massachusetts, and is one of the oldest cities in the United States. The largest city in New England, Boston is regarded as the unofficial "Capital of New England" for its economic and cultural impact on the entire New England region. The city proper had...

. 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. Worth was sufficiently fashionable that he had to turn away customers. This only added to his éclat. He completely revolutionised the business of dressmaking. He was the first of the couturier
Couturier
A couturier is an establishment or person involved in the clothing fashion industry who makes original garments to order for private clients. A couturier may make what is known as haute couture. Such a person usually hires patternmakers and machinists for garment production, and is either employed...

s, dressmakers considered artists rather than mere artisans.

Worth and Bobergh shut down during the Franco-Prussian War
Franco-Prussian War
The Franco-Prussian War or Franco-German War, often referred to in France as the 1870 War was a conflict between the Second French Empire and the Kingdom of Prussia. Prussia was aided by the North German Confederation, of which it was a member, and the South German states of Baden, Württemberg and...

 and re-opened in 1871, without Bobergh, as the House of Worth
House of Worth
The House of Worth is a Haute Couture fashion house founded in the 1850s by Charles Frederick Worth. Today the house is owned by Shaneel Enterprises, entrepreneurs of Indian descent, based in the UK...

. Worth took his sons, Gaston (founder of Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture) and Jean-Philippe, into his business and the couture house continued to flourish after his death in 1895.

Commemoration


The life and work of Charles Worth has been celebrated with the opening of the Charles Worth Gallery at the Heritage Centre at Bourne, in Lincolnshire, his birthplace.

Mrs Brenda Jones, chairman of Bourne Civic Society
Bourne Civic Society
Bourne Civic Society is a voluntary organization concerned with the development of the town and community of Bourne, Lincolnshire, England.It was founded in 1977 at a time of a rapid expansion of the town...

 that administers the centre, and her husband Jim, decided to create the exhibition with one of his famous dresses as the centrepiece. The perfect solution would have been to purchase an original dress but they are virtually unobtainable and all surviving examples are scattered around museums in Europe and America. But photographs do exist and she recruited seamstresses to copy one of the costumes in minute detail, the materials, the sewing and the means of display, and the gallery was given a civic opening in April 2006.

The dress that has been copied, using material from the period and specially bought from London, is a style known as Visite and made from off white silk with braid and bead trimming, originally designed by Worth in 1885 and bearing the label of his salon at No 7 Rue de la Paix in Paris. This is the centrepiece of the display with two additional dresses, together with other costumes and accessories loaned by members and friends including an original jacket bought from the House of Worth in Paris. Framed photographs and documents illustrating Worth’s life and career adorn the walls and a computer in the foyer has been specially programmed to play a continual pictorial record of his dress designs.

The ladies responsible for the project, namely Lesley Wade, Clare Hart and Debbie Hallam, have now completed a second replica
Replica
A replica is a copy closely resembling the original concerning its shape and appearance. An inverted replica complements the original by filling its gaps. It can be a copy used for historical purposes, such as being placed in a museum. Sometimes the original never existed. For example, Difference...

 Worth creation for the gallery, this time a magnificent reception dress in red velvet and silk that has enhanced the exhibition even further. The original of this dress was fashioned circa 1883 and was graced with his exclusive label "Worth 7, Rue de la Paix".

Court Presentation Dress


Court Presentation Dress by Charles Worth (see image in Gallery)

This presentation dress, c.1895, is from the House of Charles Frederick Worth. The House of Worth
House of Worth
The House of Worth is a Haute Couture fashion house founded in the 1850s by Charles Frederick Worth. Today the house is owned by Shaneel Enterprises, entrepreneurs of Indian descent, based in the UK...

 was in many ways a new departure, marking a shift from the old fashioned dressmaker to something much closer to the modern couturier or fashion designer.

The dress was designed specifically for presentation at court, worn by a Debutante
Debutante
A débutante is a young lady from an aristocratic or upper class family who has reached the age of maturity, and as a new adult, is introduced to society at a formal "début" presentation. It should not be confused with a Debs...

. It is made from heavy pure silk satin, hand embroidered with metallic beads, sequins and diamante in a sumptuous floral design. It is trimmed with hand-made lace and like all presentation dresses has a richly worked long train. Trains, which had always formed an important part of court dress, extended from three feet to eight feet by 1870 and even longer by the end of the century. Trains were fastened at this period from the waist and were often made of costly and ornate materials.

Presentation at court was an important milestone in the life of a young woman, marking her emergence into the adult world and providing her with a passport to the most exclusive social circles–-and the chance of getting a rich husband. It is thought that Queen Charlotte, wife of George III, was the first queen to have young ladies presented to her at drawing rooms as an acknowledgment of their ‘coming out’ in society. From 1837 these young girls were known as debutantes.

This tradition drew to a close in the 1950s.

Gallery


Charles Frederick Worth (1826-1895), widely considered the Father of Haute couture
Haute couture
Haute couture refers to the creation of exclusive custom-fitted clothing. Haute couture is made to order for a specific customer, and it is usually made from high-quality, expensive fabric and sewn with extreme attention to detail and finished by the most experienced and capable seamstresses,...

, was an English fashion designer of the 19th century, whose works were produced in Paris.

Career


Born in Bourne, Lincolnshire
Bourne, Lincolnshire
Bourne is a market town and civil parish on the western edge of the Fens, in the District of South Kesteven in southern Lincolnshire, England.-The town:...

, England, Worth made his mark in the French fashion industry. 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.

Worth, by now a junior partner in the firm, urged his partners to expand into dressmaking, but they hesitated to risk their reputation in a business as low-class as dressmaking. Worth found a wealthy Swede, Otto Bobergh, who was willing to bankroll the venture and opened the dressmaking establishment of Worth and Bobergh in 1858. Worth was soon patronised by the French Empress Eugénie, and after that by many titled, rich, and otherwise notable women. Catherine Walters
Catherine Walters
Catherine Walters, also known as "Skittles" , was a fashion trendsetter and one of the last of the great courtesans of Victorian London...

 and Cora Pearl
Cora Pearl
Cora Pearl was a famous courtesan of the 19th century French demimonde, born Emma Elizabeth Crouch.- Early life :Her date and place of birth are disputed, as she was believed to have forged her birth certificate, giving the date as 23 February 1842, and the place as Caroline Place, East...

, the famous demimondaines, and Pauline von Metternich, an Austrian princess and musical patron, were Worth devotees, the infamous beauty Virginia Oldoini, Countess di Castiglione was often dressed by him. He also dressed actresses such as Sarah Bernhardt
Sarah Bernhardt
Sarah Bernhardt was a French stage and early film actress, and has been referred to as "the most famous actress the world has ever known". Bernhardt made her fame on the stages of France in the 1870s, and was soon in demand in Europe and the Americas...

 and singers such as Nellie Melba
Nellie Melba
Dame Nellie Melba GBE , born Helen "Nellie" Porter Mitchell, was an Australian operatic soprano. She became one of the most famous singers of the late Victorian Era and the early 20th century...

. Many of his customers travelled to Paris from other countries, coming from as far away as New York and Boston
Boston
Boston is the capital of and largest city in Massachusetts, and is one of the oldest cities in the United States. The largest city in New England, Boston is regarded as the unofficial "Capital of New England" for its economic and cultural impact on the entire New England region. The city proper had...

. 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. Worth was sufficiently fashionable that he had to turn away customers. This only added to his éclat. He completely revolutionised the business of dressmaking. He was the first of the couturier
Couturier
A couturier is an establishment or person involved in the clothing fashion industry who makes original garments to order for private clients. A couturier may make what is known as haute couture. Such a person usually hires patternmakers and machinists for garment production, and is either employed...

s, dressmakers considered artists rather than mere artisans.

Worth and Bobergh shut down during the Franco-Prussian War
Franco-Prussian War
The Franco-Prussian War or Franco-German War, often referred to in France as the 1870 War was a conflict between the Second French Empire and the Kingdom of Prussia. Prussia was aided by the North German Confederation, of which it was a member, and the South German states of Baden, Württemberg and...

 and re-opened in 1871, without Bobergh, as the House of Worth
House of Worth
The House of Worth is a Haute Couture fashion house founded in the 1850s by Charles Frederick Worth. Today the house is owned by Shaneel Enterprises, entrepreneurs of Indian descent, based in the UK...

. Worth took his sons, Gaston (founder of Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture) and Jean-Philippe, into his business and the couture house continued to flourish after his death in 1895.

Commemoration


The life and work of Charles Worth has been celebrated with the opening of the Charles Worth Gallery at the Heritage Centre at Bourne, in Lincolnshire, his birthplace.

Mrs Brenda Jones, chairman of Bourne Civic Society
Bourne Civic Society
Bourne Civic Society is a voluntary organization concerned with the development of the town and community of Bourne, Lincolnshire, England.It was founded in 1977 at a time of a rapid expansion of the town...

 that administers the centre, and her husband Jim, decided to create the exhibition with one of his famous dresses as the centrepiece. The perfect solution would have been to purchase an original dress but they are virtually unobtainable and all surviving examples are scattered around museums in Europe and America. But photographs do exist and she recruited seamstresses to copy one of the costumes in minute detail, the materials, the sewing and the means of display, and the gallery was given a civic opening in April 2006.

The dress that has been copied, using material from the period and specially bought from London, is a style known as Visite and made from off white silk with braid and bead trimming, originally designed by Worth in 1885 and bearing the label of his salon at No 7 Rue de la Paix in Paris. This is the centrepiece of the display with two additional dresses, together with other costumes and accessories loaned by members and friends including an original jacket bought from the House of Worth in Paris. Framed photographs and documents illustrating Worth’s life and career adorn the walls and a computer in the foyer has been specially programmed to play a continual pictorial record of his dress designs.

The ladies responsible for the project, namely Lesley Wade, Clare Hart and Debbie Hallam, have now completed a second replica
Replica
A replica is a copy closely resembling the original concerning its shape and appearance. An inverted replica complements the original by filling its gaps. It can be a copy used for historical purposes, such as being placed in a museum. Sometimes the original never existed. For example, Difference...

 Worth creation for the gallery, this time a magnificent reception dress in red velvet and silk that has enhanced the exhibition even further. The original of this dress was fashioned circa 1883 and was graced with his exclusive label "Worth 7, Rue de la Paix".

Court Presentation Dress


Court Presentation Dress by Charles Worth (see image in Gallery)

This presentation dress, c.1895, is from the House of Charles Frederick Worth. The House of Worth
House of Worth
The House of Worth is a Haute Couture fashion house founded in the 1850s by Charles Frederick Worth. Today the house is owned by Shaneel Enterprises, entrepreneurs of Indian descent, based in the UK...

 was in many ways a new departure, marking a shift from the old fashioned dressmaker to something much closer to the modern couturier or fashion designer.

The dress was designed specifically for presentation at court, worn by a Debutante
Debutante
A débutante is a young lady from an aristocratic or upper class family who has reached the age of maturity, and as a new adult, is introduced to society at a formal "début" presentation. It should not be confused with a Debs...

. It is made from heavy pure silk satin, hand embroidered with metallic beads, sequins and diamante in a sumptuous floral design. It is trimmed with hand-made lace and like all presentation dresses has a richly worked long train. Trains, which had always formed an important part of court dress, extended from three feet to eight feet by 1870 and even longer by the end of the century. Trains were fastened at this period from the waist and were often made of costly and ornate materials.

Presentation at court was an important milestone in the life of a young woman, marking her emergence into the adult world and providing her with a passport to the most exclusive social circles–-and the chance of getting a rich husband. It is thought that Queen Charlotte, wife of George III, was the first queen to have young ladies presented to her at drawing rooms as an acknowledgment of their ‘coming out’ in society. From 1837 these young girls were known as debutantes.

This tradition drew to a close in the 1950s.

Gallery


Charles Frederick Worth (1826-1895), widely considered the Father of Haute couture
Haute couture
Haute couture refers to the creation of exclusive custom-fitted clothing. Haute couture is made to order for a specific customer, and it is usually made from high-quality, expensive fabric and sewn with extreme attention to detail and finished by the most experienced and capable seamstresses,...

, was an English fashion designer of the 19th century, whose works were produced in Paris.

Career


Born in Bourne, Lincolnshire
Bourne, Lincolnshire
Bourne is a market town and civil parish on the western edge of the Fens, in the District of South Kesteven in southern Lincolnshire, England.-The town:...

, England, Worth made his mark in the French fashion industry. 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.

Worth, by now a junior partner in the firm, urged his partners to expand into dressmaking, but they hesitated to risk their reputation in a business as low-class as dressmaking. Worth found a wealthy Swede, Otto Bobergh, who was willing to bankroll the venture and opened the dressmaking establishment of Worth and Bobergh in 1858. Worth was soon patronised by the French Empress Eugénie, and after that by many titled, rich, and otherwise notable women. Catherine Walters
Catherine Walters
Catherine Walters, also known as "Skittles" , was a fashion trendsetter and one of the last of the great courtesans of Victorian London...

 and Cora Pearl
Cora Pearl
Cora Pearl was a famous courtesan of the 19th century French demimonde, born Emma Elizabeth Crouch.- Early life :Her date and place of birth are disputed, as she was believed to have forged her birth certificate, giving the date as 23 February 1842, and the place as Caroline Place, East...

, the famous demimondaines, and Pauline von Metternich, an Austrian princess and musical patron, were Worth devotees, the infamous beauty Virginia Oldoini, Countess di Castiglione was often dressed by him. He also dressed actresses such as Sarah Bernhardt
Sarah Bernhardt
Sarah Bernhardt was a French stage and early film actress, and has been referred to as "the most famous actress the world has ever known". Bernhardt made her fame on the stages of France in the 1870s, and was soon in demand in Europe and the Americas...

 and singers such as Nellie Melba
Nellie Melba
Dame Nellie Melba GBE , born Helen "Nellie" Porter Mitchell, was an Australian operatic soprano. She became one of the most famous singers of the late Victorian Era and the early 20th century...

. Many of his customers travelled to Paris from other countries, coming from as far away as New York and Boston
Boston
Boston is the capital of and largest city in Massachusetts, and is one of the oldest cities in the United States. The largest city in New England, Boston is regarded as the unofficial "Capital of New England" for its economic and cultural impact on the entire New England region. The city proper had...

. 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. Worth was sufficiently fashionable that he had to turn away customers. This only added to his éclat. He completely revolutionised the business of dressmaking. He was the first of the couturier
Couturier
A couturier is an establishment or person involved in the clothing fashion industry who makes original garments to order for private clients. A couturier may make what is known as haute couture. Such a person usually hires patternmakers and machinists for garment production, and is either employed...

s, dressmakers considered artists rather than mere artisans.

Worth and Bobergh shut down during the Franco-Prussian War
Franco-Prussian War
The Franco-Prussian War or Franco-German War, often referred to in France as the 1870 War was a conflict between the Second French Empire and the Kingdom of Prussia. Prussia was aided by the North German Confederation, of which it was a member, and the South German states of Baden, Württemberg and...

 and re-opened in 1871, without Bobergh, as the House of Worth
House of Worth
The House of Worth is a Haute Couture fashion house founded in the 1850s by Charles Frederick Worth. Today the house is owned by Shaneel Enterprises, entrepreneurs of Indian descent, based in the UK...

. Worth took his sons, Gaston (founder of Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture) and Jean-Philippe, into his business and the couture house continued to flourish after his death in 1895.

Commemoration


The life and work of Charles Worth has been celebrated with the opening of the Charles Worth Gallery at the Heritage Centre at Bourne, in Lincolnshire, his birthplace.

Mrs Brenda Jones, chairman of Bourne Civic Society
Bourne Civic Society
Bourne Civic Society is a voluntary organization concerned with the development of the town and community of Bourne, Lincolnshire, England.It was founded in 1977 at a time of a rapid expansion of the town...

 that administers the centre, and her husband Jim, decided to create the exhibition with one of his famous dresses as the centrepiece. The perfect solution would have been to purchase an original dress but they are virtually unobtainable and all surviving examples are scattered around museums in Europe and America. But photographs do exist and she recruited seamstresses to copy one of the costumes in minute detail, the materials, the sewing and the means of display, and the gallery was given a civic opening in April 2006.

The dress that has been copied, using material from the period and specially bought from London, is a style known as Visite and made from off white silk with braid and bead trimming, originally designed by Worth in 1885 and bearing the label of his salon at No 7 Rue de la Paix in Paris. This is the centrepiece of the display with two additional dresses, together with other costumes and accessories loaned by members and friends including an original jacket bought from the House of Worth in Paris. Framed photographs and documents illustrating Worth’s life and career adorn the walls and a computer in the foyer has been specially programmed to play a continual pictorial record of his dress designs.

The ladies responsible for the project, namely Lesley Wade, Clare Hart and Debbie Hallam, have now completed a second replica
Replica
A replica is a copy closely resembling the original concerning its shape and appearance. An inverted replica complements the original by filling its gaps. It can be a copy used for historical purposes, such as being placed in a museum. Sometimes the original never existed. For example, Difference...

 Worth creation for the gallery, this time a magnificent reception dress in red velvet and silk that has enhanced the exhibition even further. The original of this dress was fashioned circa 1883 and was graced with his exclusive label "Worth 7, Rue de la Paix".

Court Presentation Dress


Court Presentation Dress by Charles Worth (see image in Gallery)

This presentation dress, c.1895, is from the House of Charles Frederick Worth. The House of Worth
House of Worth
The House of Worth is a Haute Couture fashion house founded in the 1850s by Charles Frederick Worth. Today the house is owned by Shaneel Enterprises, entrepreneurs of Indian descent, based in the UK...

 was in many ways a new departure, marking a shift from the old fashioned dressmaker to something much closer to the modern couturier or fashion designer.

The dress was designed specifically for presentation at court, worn by a Debutante
Debutante
A débutante is a young lady from an aristocratic or upper class family who has reached the age of maturity, and as a new adult, is introduced to society at a formal "début" presentation. It should not be confused with a Debs...

. It is made from heavy pure silk satin, hand embroidered with metallic beads, sequins and diamante in a sumptuous floral design. It is trimmed with hand-made lace and like all presentation dresses has a richly worked long train. Trains, which had always formed an important part of court dress, extended from three feet to eight feet by 1870 and even longer by the end of the century. Trains were fastened at this period from the waist and were often made of costly and ornate materials.

Presentation at court was an important milestone in the life of a young woman, marking her emergence into the adult world and providing her with a passport to the most exclusive social circles–-and the chance of getting a rich husband. It is thought that Queen Charlotte, wife of George III, was the first queen to have young ladies presented to her at drawing rooms as an acknowledgment of their ‘coming out’ in society. From 1837 these young girls were known as debutantes.

This tradition drew to a close in the 1950s.

Gallery


Charles Frederick Worth (1826-1895), widely considered the Father of Haute couture
Haute couture
Haute couture refers to the creation of exclusive custom-fitted clothing. Haute couture is made to order for a specific customer, and it is usually made from high-quality, expensive fabric and sewn with extreme attention to detail and finished by the most experienced and capable seamstresses,...

, was an English fashion designer of the 19th century, whose works were produced in Paris.

Career


Born in Bourne, Lincolnshire
Bourne, Lincolnshire
Bourne is a market town and civil parish on the western edge of the Fens, in the District of South Kesteven in southern Lincolnshire, England.-The town:...

, England, Worth made his mark in the French fashion industry. 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.

Worth, by now a junior partner in the firm, urged his partners to expand into dressmaking, but they hesitated to risk their reputation in a business as low-class as dressmaking. Worth found a wealthy Swede, Otto Bobergh, who was willing to bankroll the venture and opened the dressmaking establishment of Worth and Bobergh in 1858. Worth was soon patronised by the French Empress Eugénie, and after that by many titled, rich, and otherwise notable women. Catherine Walters
Catherine Walters
Catherine Walters, also known as "Skittles" , was a fashion trendsetter and one of the last of the great courtesans of Victorian London...

 and Cora Pearl
Cora Pearl
Cora Pearl was a famous courtesan of the 19th century French demimonde, born Emma Elizabeth Crouch.- Early life :Her date and place of birth are disputed, as she was believed to have forged her birth certificate, giving the date as 23 February 1842, and the place as Caroline Place, East...

, the famous demimondaines, and Pauline von Metternich, an Austrian princess and musical patron, were Worth devotees, the infamous beauty Virginia Oldoini, Countess di Castiglione was often dressed by him. He also dressed actresses such as Sarah Bernhardt
Sarah Bernhardt
Sarah Bernhardt was a French stage and early film actress, and has been referred to as "the most famous actress the world has ever known". Bernhardt made her fame on the stages of France in the 1870s, and was soon in demand in Europe and the Americas...

 and singers such as Nellie Melba
Nellie Melba
Dame Nellie Melba GBE , born Helen "Nellie" Porter Mitchell, was an Australian operatic soprano. She became one of the most famous singers of the late Victorian Era and the early 20th century...

. Many of his customers travelled to Paris from other countries, coming from as far away as New York and Boston
Boston
Boston is the capital of and largest city in Massachusetts, and is one of the oldest cities in the United States. The largest city in New England, Boston is regarded as the unofficial "Capital of New England" for its economic and cultural impact on the entire New England region. The city proper had...

. 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. Worth was sufficiently fashionable that he had to turn away customers. This only added to his éclat. He completely revolutionised the business of dressmaking. He was the first of the couturier
Couturier
A couturier is an establishment or person involved in the clothing fashion industry who makes original garments to order for private clients. A couturier may make what is known as haute couture. Such a person usually hires patternmakers and machinists for garment production, and is either employed...

s, dressmakers considered artists rather than mere artisans.

Worth and Bobergh shut down during the Franco-Prussian War
Franco-Prussian War
The Franco-Prussian War or Franco-German War, often referred to in France as the 1870 War was a conflict between the Second French Empire and the Kingdom of Prussia. Prussia was aided by the North German Confederation, of which it was a member, and the South German states of Baden, Württemberg and...

 and re-opened in 1871, without Bobergh, as the House of Worth
House of Worth
The House of Worth is a Haute Couture fashion house founded in the 1850s by Charles Frederick Worth. Today the house is owned by Shaneel Enterprises, entrepreneurs of Indian descent, based in the UK...

. Worth took his sons, Gaston (founder of Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture) and Jean-Philippe, into his business and the couture house continued to flourish after his death in 1895.

Commemoration


The life and work of Charles Worth has been celebrated with the opening of the Charles Worth Gallery at the Heritage Centre at Bourne, in Lincolnshire, his birthplace.

Mrs Brenda Jones, chairman of Bourne Civic Society
Bourne Civic Society
Bourne Civic Society is a voluntary organization concerned with the development of the town and community of Bourne, Lincolnshire, England.It was founded in 1977 at a time of a rapid expansion of the town...

 that administers the centre, and her husband Jim, decided to create the exhibition with one of his famous dresses as the centrepiece. The perfect solution would have been to purchase an original dress but they are virtually unobtainable and all surviving examples are scattered around museums in Europe and America. But photographs do exist and she recruited seamstresses to copy one of the costumes in minute detail, the materials, the sewing and the means of display, and the gallery was given a civic opening in April 2006.

The dress that has been copied, using material from the period and specially bought from London, is a style known as Visite and made from off white silk with braid and bead trimming, originally designed by Worth in 1885 and bearing the label of his salon at No 7 Rue de la Paix in Paris. This is the centrepiece of the display with two additional dresses, together with other costumes and accessories loaned by members and friends including an original jacket bought from the House of Worth in Paris. Framed photographs and documents illustrating Worth’s life and career adorn the walls and a computer in the foyer has been specially programmed to play a continual pictorial record of his dress designs.

The ladies responsible for the project, namely Lesley Wade, Clare Hart and Debbie Hallam, have now completed a second replica
Replica
A replica is a copy closely resembling the original concerning its shape and appearance. An inverted replica complements the original by filling its gaps. It can be a copy used for historical purposes, such as being placed in a museum. Sometimes the original never existed. For example, Difference...

 Worth creation for the gallery, this time a magnificent reception dress in red velvet and silk that has enhanced the exhibition even further. The original of this dress was fashioned circa 1883 and was graced with his exclusive label "Worth 7, Rue de la Paix".

Court Presentation Dress


Court Presentation Dress by Charles Worth (see image in Gallery)

This presentation dress, c.1895, is from the House of Charles Frederick Worth. The House of Worth
House of Worth
The House of Worth is a Haute Couture fashion house founded in the 1850s by Charles Frederick Worth. Today the house is owned by Shaneel Enterprises, entrepreneurs of Indian descent, based in the UK...

 was in many ways a new departure, marking a shift from the old fashioned dressmaker to something much closer to the modern couturier or fashion designer.

The dress was designed specifically for presentation at court, worn by a Debutante
Debutante
A débutante is a young lady from an aristocratic or upper class family who has reached the age of maturity, and as a new adult, is introduced to society at a formal "début" presentation. It should not be confused with a Debs...

. It is made from heavy pure silk satin, hand embroidered with metallic beads, sequins and diamante in a sumptuous floral design. It is trimmed with hand-made lace and like all presentation dresses has a richly worked long train. Trains, which had always formed an important part of court dress, extended from three feet to eight feet by 1870 and even longer by the end of the century. Trains were fastened at this period from the waist and were often made of costly and ornate materials.

Presentation at court was an important milestone in the life of a young woman, marking her emergence into the adult world and providing her with a passport to the most exclusive social circles–-and the chance of getting a rich husband. It is thought that Queen Charlotte, wife of George III, was the first queen to have young ladies presented to her at drawing rooms as an acknowledgment of their ‘coming out’ in society. From 1837 these young girls were known as debutantes.

This tradition drew to a close in the 1950s.

Gallery


Charles Frederick Worth (1826-1895), widely considered the Father of Haute couture
Haute couture
Haute couture refers to the creation of exclusive custom-fitted clothing. Haute couture is made to order for a specific customer, and it is usually made from high-quality, expensive fabric and sewn with extreme attention to detail and finished by the most experienced and capable seamstresses,...

, was an English fashion designer of the 19th century, whose works were produced in Paris.

Career


Born in Bourne, Lincolnshire
Bourne, Lincolnshire
Bourne is a market town and civil parish on the western edge of the Fens, in the District of South Kesteven in southern Lincolnshire, England.-The town:...

, England, Worth made his mark in the French fashion industry. 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.

Worth, by now a junior partner in the firm, urged his partners to expand into dressmaking, but they hesitated to risk their reputation in a business as low-class as dressmaking. Worth found a wealthy Swede, Otto Bobergh, who was willing to bankroll the venture and opened the dressmaking establishment of Worth and Bobergh in 1858. Worth was soon patronised by the French Empress Eugénie, and after that by many titled, rich, and otherwise notable women. Catherine Walters
Catherine Walters
Catherine Walters, also known as "Skittles" , was a fashion trendsetter and one of the last of the great courtesans of Victorian London...

 and Cora Pearl
Cora Pearl
Cora Pearl was a famous courtesan of the 19th century French demimonde, born Emma Elizabeth Crouch.- Early life :Her date and place of birth are disputed, as she was believed to have forged her birth certificate, giving the date as 23 February 1842, and the place as Caroline Place, East...

, the famous demimondaines, and Pauline von Metternich, an Austrian princess and musical patron, were Worth devotees, the infamous beauty Virginia Oldoini, Countess di Castiglione was often dressed by him. He also dressed actresses such as Sarah Bernhardt
Sarah Bernhardt
Sarah Bernhardt was a French stage and early film actress, and has been referred to as "the most famous actress the world has ever known". Bernhardt made her fame on the stages of France in the 1870s, and was soon in demand in Europe and the Americas...

 and singers such as Nellie Melba
Nellie Melba
Dame Nellie Melba GBE , born Helen "Nellie" Porter Mitchell, was an Australian operatic soprano. She became one of the most famous singers of the late Victorian Era and the early 20th century...

. Many of his customers travelled to Paris from other countries, coming from as far away as New York and Boston
Boston
Boston is the capital of and largest city in Massachusetts, and is one of the oldest cities in the United States. The largest city in New England, Boston is regarded as the unofficial "Capital of New England" for its economic and cultural impact on the entire New England region. The city proper had...

. 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. Worth was sufficiently fashionable that he had to turn away customers. This only added to his éclat. He completely revolutionised the business of dressmaking. He was the first of the couturier
Couturier
A couturier is an establishment or person involved in the clothing fashion industry who makes original garments to order for private clients. A couturier may make what is known as haute couture. Such a person usually hires patternmakers and machinists for garment production, and is either employed...

s, dressmakers considered artists rather than mere artisans.

Worth and Bobergh shut down during the Franco-Prussian War
Franco-Prussian War
The Franco-Prussian War or Franco-German War, often referred to in France as the 1870 War was a conflict between the Second French Empire and the Kingdom of Prussia. Prussia was aided by the North German Confederation, of which it was a member, and the South German states of Baden, Württemberg and...

 and re-opened in 1871, without Bobergh, as the House of Worth
House of Worth
The House of Worth is a Haute Couture fashion house founded in the 1850s by Charles Frederick Worth. Today the house is owned by Shaneel Enterprises, entrepreneurs of Indian descent, based in the UK...

. Worth took his sons, Gaston (founder of Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture) and Jean-Philippe, into his business and the couture house continued to flourish after his death in 1895.

Commemoration


The life and work of Charles Worth has been celebrated with the opening of the Charles Worth Gallery at the Heritage Centre at Bourne, in Lincolnshire, his birthplace.

Mrs Brenda Jones, chairman of Bourne Civic Society
Bourne Civic Society
Bourne Civic Society is a voluntary organization concerned with the development of the town and community of Bourne, Lincolnshire, England.It was founded in 1977 at a time of a rapid expansion of the town...

 that administers the centre, and her husband Jim, decided to create the exhibition with one of his famous dresses as the centrepiece. The perfect solution would have been to purchase an original dress but they are virtually unobtainable and all surviving examples are scattered around museums in Europe and America. But photographs do exist and she recruited seamstresses to copy one of the costumes in minute detail, the materials, the sewing and the means of display, and the gallery was given a civic opening in April 2006.

The dress that has been copied, using material from the period and specially bought from London, is a style known as Visite and made from off white silk with braid and bead trimming, originally designed by Worth in 1885 and bearing the label of his salon at No 7 Rue de la Paix in Paris. This is the centrepiece of the display with two additional dresses, together with other costumes and accessories loaned by members and friends including an original jacket bought from the House of Worth in Paris. Framed photographs and documents illustrating Worth’s life and career adorn the walls and a computer in the foyer has been specially programmed to play a continual pictorial record of his dress designs.

The ladies responsible for the project, namely Lesley Wade, Clare Hart and Debbie Hallam, have now completed a second replica
Replica
A replica is a copy closely resembling the original concerning its shape and appearance. An inverted replica complements the original by filling its gaps. It can be a copy used for historical purposes, such as being placed in a museum. Sometimes the original never existed. For example, Difference...

 Worth creation for the gallery, this time a magnificent reception dress in red velvet and silk that has enhanced the exhibition even further. The original of this dress was fashioned circa 1883 and was graced with his exclusive label "Worth 7, Rue de la Paix".

Court Presentation Dress


Court Presentation Dress by Charles Worth (see image in Gallery)

This presentation dress, c.1895, is from the House of Charles Frederick Worth. The House of Worth
House of Worth
The House of Worth is a Haute Couture fashion house founded in the 1850s by Charles Frederick Worth. Today the house is owned by Shaneel Enterprises, entrepreneurs of Indian descent, based in the UK...

 was in many ways a new departure, marking a shift from the old fashioned dressmaker to something much closer to the modern couturier or fashion designer.

The dress was designed specifically for presentation at court, worn by a Debutante
Debutante
A débutante is a young lady from an aristocratic or upper class family who has reached the age of maturity, and as a new adult, is introduced to society at a formal "début" presentation. It should not be confused with a Debs...

. It is made from heavy pure silk satin, hand embroidered with metallic beads, sequins and diamante in a sumptuous floral design. It is trimmed with hand-made lace and like all presentation dresses has a richly worked long train. Trains, which had always formed an important part of court dress, extended from three feet to eight feet by 1870 and even longer by the end of the century. Trains were fastened at this period from the waist and were often made of costly and ornate materials.

Presentation at court was an important milestone in the life of a young woman, marking her emergence into the adult world and providing her with a passport to the most exclusive social circles–-and the chance of getting a rich husband. It is thought that Queen Charlotte, wife of George III, was the first queen to have young ladies presented to her at drawing rooms as an acknowledgment of their ‘coming out’ in society. From 1837 these young girls were known as debutantes.

This tradition drew to a close in the 1950s.

Gallery


Charles Frederick Worth (1826-1895), widely considered the Father of Haute couture
Haute couture
Haute couture refers to the creation of exclusive custom-fitted clothing. Haute couture is made to order for a specific customer, and it is usually made from high-quality, expensive fabric and sewn with extreme attention to detail and finished by the most experienced and capable seamstresses,...

, was an English fashion designer of the 19th century, whose works were produced in Paris.

Career


Born in Bourne, Lincolnshire
Bourne, Lincolnshire
Bourne is a market town and civil parish on the western edge of the Fens, in the District of South Kesteven in southern Lincolnshire, England.-The town:...

, England, Worth made his mark in the French fashion industry. 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.

Worth, by now a junior partner in the firm, urged his partners to expand into dressmaking, but they hesitated to risk their reputation in a business as low-class as dressmaking. Worth found a wealthy Swede, Otto Bobergh, who was willing to bankroll the venture and opened the dressmaking establishment of Worth and Bobergh in 1858. Worth was soon patronised by the French Empress Eugénie, and after that by many titled, rich, and otherwise notable women. Catherine Walters
Catherine Walters
Catherine Walters, also known as "Skittles" , was a fashion trendsetter and one of the last of the great courtesans of Victorian London...

 and Cora Pearl
Cora Pearl
Cora Pearl was a famous courtesan of the 19th century French demimonde, born Emma Elizabeth Crouch.- Early life :Her date and place of birth are disputed, as she was believed to have forged her birth certificate, giving the date as 23 February 1842, and the place as Caroline Place, East...

, the famous demimondaines, and Pauline von Metternich, an Austrian princess and musical patron, were Worth devotees, the infamous beauty Virginia Oldoini, Countess di Castiglione was often dressed by him. He also dressed actresses such as Sarah Bernhardt
Sarah Bernhardt
Sarah Bernhardt was a French stage and early film actress, and has been referred to as "the most famous actress the world has ever known". Bernhardt made her fame on the stages of France in the 1870s, and was soon in demand in Europe and the Americas...

 and singers such as Nellie Melba
Nellie Melba
Dame Nellie Melba GBE , born Helen "Nellie" Porter Mitchell, was an Australian operatic soprano. She became one of the most famous singers of the late Victorian Era and the early 20th century...

. Many of his customers travelled to Paris from other countries, coming from as far away as New York and Boston
Boston
Boston is the capital of and largest city in Massachusetts, and is one of the oldest cities in the United States. The largest city in New England, Boston is regarded as the unofficial "Capital of New England" for its economic and cultural impact on the entire New England region. The city proper had...

. 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. Worth was sufficiently fashionable that he had to turn away customers. This only added to his éclat. He completely revolutionised the business of dressmaking. He was the first of the couturier
Couturier
A couturier is an establishment or person involved in the clothing fashion industry who makes original garments to order for private clients. A couturier may make what is known as haute couture. Such a person usually hires patternmakers and machinists for garment production, and is either employed...

s, dressmakers considered artists rather than mere artisans.

Worth and Bobergh shut down during the Franco-Prussian War
Franco-Prussian War
The Franco-Prussian War or Franco-German War, often referred to in France as the 1870 War was a conflict between the Second French Empire and the Kingdom of Prussia. Prussia was aided by the North German Confederation, of which it was a member, and the South German states of Baden, Württemberg and...

 and re-opened in 1871, without Bobergh, as the House of Worth
House of Worth
The House of Worth is a Haute Couture fashion house founded in the 1850s by Charles Frederick Worth. Today the house is owned by Shaneel Enterprises, entrepreneurs of Indian descent, based in the UK...

. Worth took his sons, Gaston (founder of Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture) and Jean-Philippe, into his business and the couture house continued to flourish after his death in 1895.

Commemoration


The life and work of Charles Worth has been celebrated with the opening of the Charles Worth Gallery at the Heritage Centre at Bourne, in Lincolnshire, his birthplace.

Mrs Brenda Jones, chairman of Bourne Civic Society
Bourne Civic Society
Bourne Civic Society is a voluntary organization concerned with the development of the town and community of Bourne, Lincolnshire, England.It was founded in 1977 at a time of a rapid expansion of the town...

 that administers the centre, and her husband Jim, decided to create the exhibition with one of his famous dresses as the centrepiece. The perfect solution would have been to purchase an original dress but they are virtually unobtainable and all surviving examples are scattered around museums in Europe and America. But photographs do exist and she recruited seamstresses to copy one of the costumes in minute detail, the materials, the sewing and the means of display, and the gallery was given a civic opening in April 2006.

The dress that has been copied, using material from the period and specially bought from London, is a style known as Visite and made from off white silk with braid and bead trimming, originally designed by Worth in 1885 and bearing the label of his salon at No 7 Rue de la Paix in Paris. This is the centrepiece of the display with two additional dresses, together with other costumes and accessories loaned by members and friends including an original jacket bought from the House of Worth in Paris. Framed photographs and documents illustrating Worth’s life and career adorn the walls and a computer in the foyer has been specially programmed to play a continual pictorial record of his dress designs.

The ladies responsible for the project, namely Lesley Wade, Clare Hart and Debbie Hallam, have now completed a second replica
Replica
A replica is a copy closely resembling the original concerning its shape and appearance. An inverted replica complements the original by filling its gaps. It can be a copy used for historical purposes, such as being placed in a museum. Sometimes the original never existed. For example, Difference...

 Worth creation for the gallery, this time a magnificent reception dress in red velvet and silk that has enhanced the exhibition even further. The original of this dress was fashioned circa 1883 and was graced with his exclusive label "Worth 7, Rue de la Paix".

Court Presentation Dress


Court Presentation Dress by Charles Worth (see image in Gallery)

This presentation dress, c.1895, is from the House of Charles Frederick Worth. The House of Worth
House of Worth
The House of Worth is a Haute Couture fashion house founded in the 1850s by Charles Frederick Worth. Today the house is owned by Shaneel Enterprises, entrepreneurs of Indian descent, based in the UK...

 was in many ways a new departure, marking a shift from the old fashioned dressmaker to something much closer to the modern couturier or fashion designer.

The dress was designed specifically for presentation at court, worn by a Debutante
Debutante
A débutante is a young lady from an aristocratic or upper class family who has reached the age of maturity, and as a new adult, is introduced to society at a formal "début" presentation. It should not be confused with a Debs...

. It is made from heavy pure silk satin, hand embroidered with metallic beads, sequins and diamante in a sumptuous floral design. It is trimmed with hand-made lace and like all presentation dresses has a richly worked long train. Trains, which had always formed an important part of court dress, extended from three feet to eight feet by 1870 and even longer by the end of the century. Trains were fastened at this period from the waist and were often made of costly and ornate materials.

Presentation at court was an important milestone in the life of a young woman, marking her emergence into the adult world and providing her with a passport to the most exclusive social circles–-and the chance of getting a rich husband. It is thought that Queen Charlotte, wife of George III, was the first queen to have young ladies presented to her at drawing rooms as an acknowledgment of their ‘coming out’ in society. From 1837 these young girls were known as debutantes.

This tradition drew to a close in the 1950s.

Gallery



Image:Winterhalter Elisabeth.jpg| Dress designed by Charles Frederick Worth for Elisabeth of Austria
Elisabeth of Bavaria
Elisabeth of Austria was the spouse of Franz Joseph I, and therefore both Empress of Austria and Queen of Hungary. She also held the titles of Queen of Bohemia and Croatia, among others...

 painted by Franz Xaver Winterhalter. http://www.fashion-era.com/mid-late_victorian_fashion.htm

Image:Worthdress thumb.jpg|From collection of St Edmundsbury Borough Council Moyse's Hall Museum Bury St Edmunds. http://www.moyseshall.org

Image:Worth_Dress_view_2.jpg|From collection of St Edmundsbury Borough Council Moyse's Hall Museum Bury St Edmunds.




External links


  • Imperial Russian court dress: Designed by Charles Frederick Worth and owned by Maria Maximilianova Romanovska
    Princess Maria Maximilianovna of Leuchtenberg
    Princess Maria Maximilianovna of Leuchtenberg, also known as Princess Maria Romanovskya, Maria, Princess Romanovskaja, or Marie Maximiliane was the eldest daughter of Maximilian de Beauharnais, 3rd Duke of Leuchtenberg and his wife Grand Duchess Maria Nikolaevna of Russia.-Family and early...

     currently in the collection of the Indianapolis Museum of Art
    Indianapolis Museum of Art
    The Indianapolis Museum of Art is an encyclopedic art museum located in Indianapolis, Indiana, United States. The museum, which underwent a $74 million expansion in 2005, is located on a campus on the near northwest area outside downtown Indianapolis, northwest of Crown Hill Cemetery.The...

    .
  • Metmuseum
  • The Bourne web site
  • Bourne Civic Society
  • The Bourne Archive