Arriving in Paris in 1845, at the age of twenty and with only a few francs in his pocket, Charles Frederick Worth would go on to build the most prominent, innovative and successful fashion house of the century. Worth was inspired by a love of fine art, luxurious fabrics and his vision of the female ideal. He was the first to set out to dictate new styles and silhouettes to his elite clientele – not the other way around – hosting them in his rue de la Paix salons, which included ground-breaking ‘sportswear’ and ‘maternity’ departments, as well as silk, velvet and brocade rooms, and a special salon with closed shutters and gas lighting designed to allow clients to try on ball gowns in lighting conditions precisely matched to those of the event.
Organized chronologically and illustrated with striking ensembles (including photographs of details that reveal the garments’ intricate construction and craftsmanship), paintings and documents sourced from both private family archives and the best fashion collections from museums around the world, The House of Worth is an inspiring tribute to the house that started it all.
'Engaging and almost encyclopaedic … a story brilliantly told … every library should have it'
The Business of Fashion
'The definitive account of the life and work of the man whom the fashion world would remember as its father'