Our shawl is based on a glamorous evening gown in the Museum’s Costume Institute. Haute couture, fashion’s art of supreme technical mastery, began in Paris in the mid-nineteenth century. Certain designers rose to the status of artist celebrities, sought after for their signature styles. Among the most famous was Charles Frederick Worth (French, b. England, 1826– 1895), whose Paris shop was a source of extravagant evening ensembles. A grand evening gown from about 1898–1900 bears the prestigious Worth label. The gown's black velvet pattern of rose leaves creates a dramatic contrast to the white satin.
Silk with satin border. Imported. 81'' x 21''.
- Silk with satin border
- 81'' x 21''
Art HistoryCharles Frederick Worth (French, b. England, 1826–1895) dominated Parisian fashion in the latter half of the nineteenth century. As a young man, Worth worked as an apprentice and clerk for two London textile merchants. In addition to gaining a thorough knowledge of fabrics and the business of supplying dressmakers during this time, he also visited the National Gallery, London, and other collections to study historic portraits. Elements of the sitters’ dresses in these paintings would later provide inspiration for Worth’s own designs for both fashionable ensembles and masquerade costumes.