Charles Frederick Worth, a great French couturier of British origin in the 19th century, is known for having founded in 1858 the first fashion house, the House of Worth. A look back at the history of the founding father of Parisian haute-couture.
Charles Frederick Worth was born on October 13, 1825, into a modest family in England, living in the town of Bourne. He took his first steps into the world of fashion as an apprentice to two London textile merchants, and this experience allowed him to acquire a lot of knowledge about the world of couture.
The young man discovered a passion for the world of fashion during his visits to the National Gallery, where he developed a fascination for portraits of royalty, and particularly for the majestic gowns of another era, worn by the women of the upper-middle class. These antique fabrics gave birth to the first sketches of what would shape Charles Frederick Worth‘s revolutionary aesthetic, and of this in-between, between avant-garde and forward-looking vision of the art of sewing and an aesthetic borrowed from the past.
In 1845, at the age of 20, Charles Frederick Worth moved to Paris and landed a job with Gagelin, a major textile, and ready-to-wear company. At first a simple salesman, Worth climbed the company’s ladder thanks to his efficiency and seriousness, until he was assigned the management of the couture division. This was his first step into professional sewing, a position that allowed him to express his creativity in the service of his art.
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