Charles Fredrick Worth

Charles Frederick worth

Charles Frederick Worth was born in Bourne, Lincolnshire in England. He was able to find work in London at several good drapery shops before relocating to Paris in 1845.
He had a hard time finding work at first but was eventually hired by Gagelin and Opigez, a prominent Parisian drapery.
Worth soon became their top salesman, selling textile goods, shawls and ready-made garments.
The shop employed several models who would demonstrate the shawls and bonnets for the customers. One of these models was Marie Vernet who Worth fell in love with and married.
Worth would make simple dresses for his wife and when when she wore them at work the customers began to want copies made.
Charles worth was now a junior partner in the firm and he tried to get his partners to get into dressmaking but they didn't want to risk their reputation.

Worth looked for an investor to help him set up on his own. He found Otto Boburgh, a wealthy Swedish man who was willing to assist financially and soon Worth opened the dressmaking establishment of Worth and Boburgh in 1858.

As Worths design skills were gaining reputation the second Empire was established in France with Napoleon III (1808-1873) as the new emperor. He implemented changes that revived the French economy and the demand for luxury goods such as fashionable dresses reached an all time high. Napoleon III married Empress Eugenie (1826-1920) and her tastes set the style of the time.
The Empress was fond of Worths work and her patronage ensured his popularity among many titled, rich and notable women.

Many of Worths customers would travel from other countries, even coming from as far away as America where his work was immensely popular among the wealthy women of New York and Boston. A large number of the original Worth dresses are today held in collections in America.

Worth re-defined the fashionable shape of the time using rich fabrics in simple fashionable shapes and...