Some Gorgeous Worth Gowns

13 May 2011

I can’t think of anything to say today so how about feasting your eyes upon some beautiful examples of the work of the iconic design house, Worth. Inventive English fashion designer Charles Frederick Worth (1825-1895) is generally considered to be the father of haute couture thanks to the luxurious and inspirational designs produced by the fashion house, Worth and Bobergh, that he founded in Paris in the 1850s and which served as a forerunner for the likes of Chanel, Dior and Yves St Laurent.

I first came across Worth as a little girl when I went through a phase of reading my grandmother’s Barbara Cartland collection and particularly enjoyed one that involved a gawky spectacle wearing Irish heiress marrying an indifferent peer then going on honeymoon in Paris and losing the glasses, dressing up in a lot of Worth goodies and pretending to be a Parisian ingenue called Desirée or similar in order to woo her own husband. I’ve tried looking on Google for the title but ‘cartland novel honeymoon Paris’ isn’t coming up with anything, funnily enough.

Oh wait, it was called Desire of the Heart. Check it out, if you like that sort of thing – it’s a great read.

Not content with dressing Empress Eugènie and all the most fashionable, elegant and celebrated women of his day, Worth also created one of the most famous gowns of all time:

Empress Elizabeth of Austria in an unforgettable swirl of foaming gauze. This has surely got to be one of the most romantic dresses ever.

Ball gown, 1900.

Ball gown, 1898.

Tea dress, 1900.

Evening dress, 1902.

Evening dress, 1898.

Evening dress, 1900.

Evening dress, 1900.

Evening dress, 1872.

Afternoon dress, 1872.

Afternoon dress, 1872.

Evening dress, 1887.

Evening dress, 1897.

They’re beautiful aren’t they?