THE FATHER OF HAUTE COUTURE
Although Haute Couture is one of France’s finest craftworks it was primarily created by an Englishman, Charles Frederick Worth.
As a young man, Worth worked for London textile merchants. In addition to gaining knowledge of fabrics, he often visited the National Gallery and other galleries to study historic portraits. The paintings would later greatly inspire Worth’s designs.
In 1856 Charles Frederick Worth moved from England to Paris and started creating bespoke garments for his clientele. In 1858 Mr Worth established the first haute couture house – Worth et Bobergh at number 7, rue de la Paix in Paris which quickly acquired dedicated and upper-class customers. Worth’s designs gained stratospheric popularity after Princess Eugenié, Napoleon III’s wife, started ordering garments from him and brought him, new customers, in the form of fashion-obsessed royal watchers. Many of the garments and accessories from the Maison Worth were elaborately embroidered and beaded using various tambour embroidery techniques.
Mr Worth was not only the first designer to celebrate the finest craftwork but he also used live models to show his garments to clients and he started sewing branded labels into his clothes. Worth’s revolutionary fashion approach earned him the title of the first couturier.