Worth started out working for Gagelin, a prominent Textile Company in Paris, where he founded a small dressmaking department.
Eventually when he wanted to open his own house, they found it to risky
to support and he was backed by Otto Bobergh, an investor from Sweden in- stead.
In 1858 The house of Worth et Bobergh was a reality. Worth is considered to be the first real couturier, because of the way he was promoting the house.
He was the first to put labels in his clothes and to present his collections on real models and he set the standard by putting the business into a system.
Of course there were taylors before that. But people had to go around and buy the fabric and trimmings needed and then explain what they wanted. Worth was bringing it all together and was offering it as a total concept.
Customeres could choose from the designs of his collection and have the dresses made by measure afterwards. That´s how Haute Couture still works today.
He was famous for his bold and opulent dresses in rich fabrics and delicate trimmings, as you can see here.
This particular dress by Worth from around 1890, was made for the late Queen Alexandrine of Denmark
Photos: The National Museum, Brede Værk
Photos: The Metropolitan Museum of Art
His sons Gaston-Lucien (-who by the way was the founder of Chambre Syndi- cale de la Couture Parisienne) and Jean-Philippe took over by his death and the house continued with his grandson, Jean-Charles until he retired in 1952 and The great fashion House closed.
Today the revival of the first haute couture house continues, with ready-to-wear, lingerie, accessories and perfume.
It was relaunced last year as the House of Worth Ldt., a company created by Indian fashion entrepreneur Dilesh Mehta and Martin McCarthy with Italian Giovanni Bedin as designer. Read more here and take a look at his latest col- lection.
I have to say, the collection of corset/tutu dresses inspired by the past looks nice, but not very contemporary. My interpretation would have looked different. . . What are your opinion on this subject ?