Friday, December 4, 2009

Fashion History #1

Father of Haute Couture

Haute Couture: (etymology: French, literally, high sewing) the houses or designers that create exclusive and often trend-setting fashions for women.

Being that I was a History major in college, and having a love for fashion, I though why not combine and share these two worlds with you? In our first lesson, we'll learn some quick history about the "father of haute couture".

Charles Frederick Worth was born in England in 1825. After becoming the top salesman and prize-winning designer for a small garment shop in Paris, he opened his own ladies' tailor shop in 1858 and soon gained the patronage of Napoleon III's wife, empress Eugenie. While her lavish tastes set the style bar at a very high level, Worth was the one designer who could cater to her needs and imagination. His designs consisted of using lavish fabrics and trimmings, while also playing close attention to the female figure. He soon became the popular designer/salesman amongst the women of the high class.

Charles Frederick Worth is also given the credit as the pioneer of the "fashion show" and the House of Worth, which stood as Worth's design and business offices until about the mid 1950s, is also accredited to his name. The House of Worth was where all his creativity manifested into his designs and it is especially known as the place where the designs were first revealed on live models, hence, the "fashion show". Clients would see his work and then request their selections to be specifically tailored for their bodies. Worth's business saviness earned him his great popularity and was soon catering to all types of women, regardless of their courtly circles.

Although Worth's design career occurred over the 19th century and styles may have changed, his dedication to detail and his design asthetics are well carried into today's fashion business.

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