Pilatte, Charles. (1814–1881) [Worth, Charles Frederick. (1825 - 1895)] Dress Designs for Maison Worth
Dress Designs for Maison Worth
Lithographic outline with gouache on paper (4)
Charles Frederick Worth opened his design house in 1858, in partnership with Otto Bobergh in Paris at 7 Rue de la Paix, having previously established his reputation as a dressmaker for Gagelin, where he had won commendations at Universal Expositions in London and Paris. While Worth was still at Gagelin, the house had supplied the trousseau for the newly married Empress Eugénie. After opening his own house, the Empress appointed him court designer and her patronage increased his reputation and business success. He dressed leading performers of the day including Sarah Bernhardt, Lillie Langtry, Jenny Lind, and Nellie Melba and created unique special-event pieces for his best clients, such as masquerade ball costumes and wedding dresses. Known for preparing several designs for each season, his designs incorporated elegant fabrics, detailed trimming, and superb fit. Wealthy women in the 19th century had four changes of dress during the day, and many clients would purchase their entire wardrobes from Worth.