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Posts tagged “Charles Frederick Worth

Quote of the Day: 19 Feb. ’11~Anne Petry

“A man hasn’t got a corner on virtue just because his shoes are shined.”~Anne Petry

Petry (October 12, 1908 – April 28, 1997) was an American author who became the first black woman writer with book sales topping a million copies for her novel The Street.


1930by ChrisJackson is celebrating YOU for all of the support you have given us!  With this we’re offering a Jewelry Giveaway! To make this interesting-we will allow you to choose YOUR own jewelry elements for your prize-any style of Necklace or Ring we have on the shop page! We want to make sure you enjoy your prize ^_^

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L’Histoire de Mode~Haute Couture

Haute Couture

Haute couture (French for “high sewing” or “high dressmaking”) 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, often using

time-consuming, hand-executed techniques. Couture is a common abbreviation

of haute couture and refers to the same thing in spirit.

It originally referred to Englishman Charles Frederick Worth’s

work, produced in Paris in the mid-nineteenth century. In modern

France, haute couture is a “protected name” that can be used

only by firms that meet certain well-defined standards. However,

the term is also used loosely to describe all high-fashion custom-fitted

clothing, whether it is produced in Paris or in other fashion capitals such as

Milan, London, New York and Tokyo.

In France, the term haute couture is protected by law and is defined by

the Chambre de commerce et d’industrie de Paris based in Paris, France.

Their rules state that only “those companies mentioned on the list drawn up each year

by a commission domiciled at the Ministry for Industry are entitled to avail themselves”

of the label haute couture. The criteria for haute couture were established in 1945 and

updated in 1992. To earn the right to call itself a couture house and to use the term

haute couture in its advertising and any other way, members of the

Chambre syndicale de la haute couture must follow these rules:

  • Design made-to-order for private clients, with one or more fittings.
  • Have a workshop (atelier) in Paris that employs at least fifteen people full-time.
  • Each season (i.e., twice a year), present a collection to the Paris press, comprising at least thirty-five runs/exits with outfits for both daytime wear and evening wear.

However, the term haute couture may have been misused by

ready-to-wear brands since the late 1980s, so that its true meaning

may have become blurred with that of prêt-à-porter (the French term for

ready-to-wear fashion) in the public perception. Every haute couture house also

markets prêt-à-porter collections, which typically deliver a higher return on investment

than their custom clothing . Falling revenues have forced a few couture

houses to abandon their less profitable couture division and concentrate

solely on the less prestigious prêt-à-porter. These houses, such as

Italian designer Roberto Capucci, all of whom have their

workshops in Italy, are no longer

considered haute couture.

Many top designer fashion houses, such as Chanel, use the word for

some of their special collections. These collections are often not for sale or they

are very difficult to purchase. Sometimes, “haute couture” is inappropriately used to

label non-dressmaking activities, such as fine art, music and more.

French leadership in European fashion may date from the

18th century, when the art, architecture, music, and fashions

of the French court at Versailles were imitated across Europe. Visitors

to Paris brought back clothing that was then copied by local dressmakers.

Stylish women also ordered fashion dolls dressed in the latest Parisian fashion

to serve as models. As railroads and steamships made European travel easier,

it was increasingly common for wealthy women to travel to Paris to shop for clothing

and accessories. French fitters and dressmakers were commonly thought to be the best

in Europe, and real Parisian garments were considered better than local imitations.

The couturier Charles Frederick Worth (October 13, 1826–March 10, 1895),

is widely considered the father of haute couture as it is known today. Although

born in Bourne, Lincolnshire, England, Worth made his mark in the French

fashion industry. Revolutionizing how dressmaking had been previously perceived,

Worth made it so the dressmaker became the artist of garnishment: a fashion designer.

While he created one-of-a-kind designs to please some of his titled or wealthy customers,

he is best known for preparing a portfolio of designs that were shown on live models at the

House of Worth. Clients selected one model, specified colors and fabrics, and had a

duplicate garment tailor-made in Worth’s workshop. Worth combined individual

tailoring with a standardization more characteristic of the ready-to-wear clothing industry,

which was also developing during this period.

Following in Worth’s footsteps were Callot Soeurs, Patou,

Poiret, Vionnet, Fortuny, Lanvin, Chanel, Mainbocher, Schiaparelli,

Balenciaga, and Dior. Some of these fashion houses still exist today, under

the leadership of modern designers.

In the 1960s a group of young designers who had trained under

men like Dior and Balenciaga left these established couture houses and opened their

own establishments. The most successful of these young designers were Yves Saint Laurent,

Pierre Cardin, André Courrèges, and Emanuel Ungaro. Japanese native and Paris-based

Hanae Mori was also successful in establishing her own line.

Lacroix is one of the fashion houses to have been started in

the late 20th century. Other new houses have included Jean-Paul Gaultier

and Thierry Mugler. Due to the high expenses of producing haute couture

collections, Lacroix and Mugler have since ceased

their haute couture activities.

For all these fashion houses, custom clothing is no longer the main source of

income, often costing much more than it earns through direct sales; it only adds the a

ura of fashion to their ventures in ready-to-wear clothing and related luxury products

such as shoes and perfumes, and licensing ventures that earn greater

returns for the company. Excessive commercialization and profit-making can be

damaging, however. Cardin, for example, licensed with abandon in the 1980s and his name

lost most of its fashionable cachet when anyone could buy Cardin luggage at a discount store.

It is their ready-to-wear collections that are available to a wider audience, adding a

splash of glamour and the feel of haute

couture to more wardrobes.

The 1960s also featured a revolt against established fashion

standards by mods, rockers, and hippies, as well as an increasing

internationalization of the fashion scene. Jet travel had spawned a jet set

that partied—and shopped—just as happily in New York as in Paris. Rich women

no longer felt that a Paris dress was necessarily better than one sewn elsewhere.

While Paris is still pre-eminent in the fashion world, it is no

longer the sole arbiter of fashion.

Couture Samples:

L’Histoire de Mode~ “The Father of Haute Couture” pt. II

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 became so popular

that he had to turn customers away. He was the

first courturier and considered more of an artist

than an aritsan. Worth and Bobergh shut down

during the Franco-Prussian War and re-opened

in 1871, without Bobergh, as the House of Worth.

He left the business to his sons, one, Gaston, of whom is

the Founder of Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture.

The House of  Worth eventually closed in 1956 after

taken over by Jeanne Paquin.

His Work:

Edwardian Period

Charles Worth 1898

Charles Worth 1861

Dress for Maria Fyodorovna, 1880-1890, satin, silk

House of Worth, Silk English Dress 1886

Worth is also the creator of the Bustle

House of  Worth also had a

successful line of make-up

and perfumes, some

can be found


L’Histoire de Mode~ “The Father of Haute Couture” pt. I


Charles Frederick Worth

Although I’d love to just write about Mr. Worth to the ends

of Earth, this is afterall a blog & most people are like rats on crack so

I must keep it short. However, the link to the wiki page is connected

to his name. I am just going to sum it up for you right here. I was

obsessed with the man in college because of one of my

instructors, JS (I don’t know if I

have permission to

post her name).



Charles Frederick Worth was born in England, 13 October 1825.

He worked for several London drapery shops prior to moving to

Paris in 1846. His big break came when he was hired by a famous

Parisian drapery house where he met his wife, Marie Vernet, one

of the houses models.  (At this time models were used strictly for

draping shawls, hats, and other accessories of the time.)  He began

making dresses for her & other women began to ask him to make

copies for them. Worth began using his wife as his in house model

in which she would be used for both samples and showings within

the boutique, as result Marie Vernet became the world’s first Super

Model (Take that Janice Dickinson!!). This gained him fame and

he caught the attention of Eugénie de Montijo a.k.a Empress

Eugénie, wife of Napolean III (the French emperor). Eventually

he made the garments for the rest of her court. The next patron

to his talent was Pauline von Metternich, Princess of Austria.

Patrons came from New York and Boston came to see his

work and buy them.