Charles Frederick Worth (13 October 1825 – 10 March 1895, widely considered the Father of Haute couture, was an English fashion designer of the 19th century, whose works were produced in Paris.
Born in Bourne, Lincolnshire, England, Worth made his mark in the French fashion industry. He worked at several prosperous London drapery shops before moving to Paris in 1846. He was hired by Gagelin and Opigez, well-known Parisian drapers. While working in their shop, he married one of the firm’s models, Marie Vernet. Marie would model shawls and bonnets for prospective customers. Worth made a few simple dresses for his wife and customers started to ask for copies of the dresses as well.
Worth, by now a junior partner in the firm, urged his partners to expand into dressmaking, but they hesitated to risk their reputation in a business as low-class as dressmaking. Worth found a wealthy Swede, Otto Bobergh, who was willing to bankroll the venture and opened the dressmaking establishment of Worth and Bobergh in 1858. Worth was soon patronized by the French Empress Eugénie, and after that by many titled, rich, and otherwise notable women. Catherine Walters and Cora Pearl, the famous demimondaines, and Pauline von Metternich, an Austrian princess and musical patron, were Worth devotees, the infamous beauty Virginia Oldoini, Countess di Castiglione was often dressed by him. He also dressed actresses such as Sarah Bernhardt and singers such as Nellie Melba. Many of his customers travelled to Paris from other countries, coming from as far away as New York and Boston. 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 was sufficiently fashionable that he had to turn away customers. This only added to his éclat. He completely revolutionized the business of dressmaking. He was the first of the couturiers, dressmakers considered artists rather than mere artisans.
Worth and Bobergh shut down during the Franco-Prussian War and re-opened in 1871, without Bobergh, as the House of Worth. Worth took his sons, Gaston (founder of Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture) and Jean-Philippe, into his business and the couture house continued to flourish after his death in 1895.
As a nice contrast to Maria Theresa’s emphasis on propriety, Coppola uses Louis XV’s own words to introduce the sixty-year-old king, whom she describes as a “noble and handsome old lion”. “How is her bosom?” he wants to know, right before meeting the Austrian princess. The king actually asked this question of a blushing Comte Mercy, and, when Mercy answered that he hadn’t noticed, the king responded: “Oh, didn’t you? That’s the first thing I look at”. Coppola works that last remark in as well. Historical discourse also helps illustrate therivalry between King Louis XVI and his brothers. When the Comte de Provence takes his wife off to bed, bragging “four times last night wasn’t enough,” he’s repeating a boast (probably a lie) that the wily comte made to taunt Louis Auguste and Marie Antoinette.
Royal Portraits in Hollywood: Filming the Lives of Queens
Everything, Everything - Caroline and Klaus wake up human in another reality due to a spell. Oh, and they’re married, which is absolutely the worst, until it isn’t.
Providence - In a post-apocalyptic world crawling with the supernatural, Caroline Forbes has spent her entire life trying to understand who and what she really is. If she could survive a certain original hybrid, she may live long enough to find out.
Coven - A war is raging in New Orleans between a hybrid King, and the witches, The Sisters of Brigid. Strangers upon meeting, Klaus and Caroline spend a night together, unaware that one of them is the hybrid King, and the other a Sister of Brigid. Chaos ensues when identities are revealed, leading to a disastrous turn of events.
Marie-Antoinette, Austrian princess and wife of Louis XVI, remains one of the most fascinating figures of the history of Versailles. Dedicated to the organisation of the court’s entertainments, surrounded by her coterie and reluctant to observe the ceremonial niceties imposed by her function, the queen progressively attracted the scorn of public opinion up to her tragic death during the French Revolution.