Evening Dress

House of Worth

1898-1900

The superb example of dressmaking shown here reflects the aesthetic of the late nineteenth century, not only in its striking Art Nouveau pattern of black velvet scrolls on an ivory satin ground, but also in the fashionable S-curve of its silhouette. The textile was woven à la disposition, with each section of the costume patterned to its shape, making the fabric’s design intrinsic to the composition of the dress.- 100 Dresses 

Ball Gown (Detail)

House of Worth 

1900-1905

Jean-Philippe Worth began as an assistant to his father, Charles Frederick Worth, in 1875. Gradually he was allowed to create his own designs and when his father died in 1895, he became the lead designer for the house. He was praised for making elaborate artistic gowns with intricate trimmings on unique textiles, much like his father had before him. Although the House of Worth was still favored by royalty and celebrities through the turn of the century, their styles were no longer the forefront of French fashion after 1900. Around 1910 Jean-Philippe limited his design work to important orders and hired his nephew, Jean-Charles Worth, as the new lead designer before leaving the company entirely after World War I.