Charles Frederick Worth ~ 1825 - 1895

Biography of Charles Frederick Worth, fashion designer

Well what can you say, except that Charles Frederick Worth was the king of all fashion designers. Many books have been written in depth on this Fashion Empire.Read more ↓

Charles Frederick Worth 1812-1895

A Fashion Designer genius of the nineteenth century

Finding an old Journal containing a print with Charles Frederick Worth’s designs in it, set me on a path never forgotten! Without a doubt this Englishman had a phenomenal impact on the whole world with his stunning creations. In Paris he became the most important influence on this industry, mostly from his enormous capacity to create an aurora around an empire spanning three generations, and because of his unequalled brilliance in designing. His client’s were the rich and famous ladies from Europe, America and even further afield.

He married Marie Augustine Vernet and her dates are 1825-1898.

Charles Frederick Worth commenced his own trading in 1857-1858, as a joint venture, and so was named Worth & Bobergh.

Charles Frederick Worth

Grand, l'Inimitable, l'incomparable WORTH


By 1860 Maison Worth’s trade expanded with up to a thousand workers. In 1869-1870 he had the Royals approval: The Empress of France, The Queen of Sweden and Norway were also wearing his spectacular gowns, becoming his most highly prestigious Clients.

Continuing Family Line: His Son, Jean-Philip, 1856-1926, became a talent in his own right and was the natural successor. He was employed by his father in 1875 – producing garments of the Worth distinction, he continued taking the Fashions through a new exciting stage of design. was to become the Finance/Business Manager and stayed with the Fashion House until his father’s death. The House of Worth again subsequently passed down to the next generation of the family continuing through some of the most historically turbulent times of the century. (Jacques Worth) report below.

1956 ended the chapter, with new fashion designers entering the arena.

2011 – We have a valuable legacy of costumes still remaining in museums and some are shown in Exhibitions mainly in New York, and Boston. With the aid of photographs, trade fashion plates, and paintings, we can only now imagine the extravagance and exclusive events where these gowns were to be worn. Splendid Grand Royal Palaces, evenings of high entertainment, French gastronomic banquets, the Theatre, Opera and Ballet evenings, Balls and Receptions. Most of this opulence is now only a dream that we can imagine. Our first four images are extremely rare finds saved from nearly disintergrated old books.

Checking the news – at the Chateaux. Two stunning gowns designed in 1887.
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Reading the news gowns Worth

Every gown was an absolute masterpiece in it’s own right overflowing with rich silk materials, trimmings of intricate embroidery, ruffles, frills and floating fine silk tulle. White, cream and gold colours were some of his favourites.

An elegant Jacket with elaborate hand made front fastening toggles. 1887.

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Rare 1887 Toggle fastened Jacket – Worth

The textile mills of Lyon set up many fabric looms to produce exquisite silk materials, which became gowns of luxurious glimmering visions of iridescent swirling light, worn in the evenings and greatly coveted. This created a thriving industry supporting the people of this region.

His brother – Gaston Lucian, 1853-1924, was a Finance/Business Manager and stayed with the Fashion House until his father’s death. The House of Worth subsequently passed down to the next generation of the family continuing through some of the most historicaly turbulent times of the century. 1956 ended the chapter, with new fashion Designers entering the arena.

A “House Dress” with wide patterned striped skirt and high fronted top. 1887.
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1887 – Artist: A Sandoz. The afternoon tea shop.

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1891 – Artist: A.Sandoz. A warm cape for walking near the coast, fastened with an elaborate jet bead toggle and hanging beads.

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1895 – Two day gowns with striking sleeve designs and very full skirts.

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1894 – This graceful Worth design is for a lady wishing to cause a sweeping sensation and demand attention at any evening event.

The gowns material is of heavy satin, enriched with Iris flower beaded emboroidery set in sections around the dress. The colour is a pastel ciel-blue. It is bordered by black fur with matching shoulder straps. Artist: A Sandoz.

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Now we are whisked up to to revolutionary period of the Twenties, which we could not leave out!  1924   




The richest brightest reds are used to loud effect for these two beauties.Artist: George Barbier.

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1937  – By Artist  Christian Berard

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A report in 1938, on the new generation to take over the House of Worth, (Jacques Worth).

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Text New generation Worth

1938 – These three beautiful gowns were part of a special collection. They were painted in watercolour by the wife of Jacques Worth. Also she designed half of the gowns herself for the collection.

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1938 Watercolour by Jacques wife

This is a French text description of the above watercolour painting 1938/Three gowns.

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Gown descriptions 1938

This is the Fashion Collection French text shown in 1938.

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Collection 1938 Jacques Worth

This is a description of the interior of the Grand House of Worth- Paris, printed in 1938. We wonder if the painting of Frederick-Charles Worth still hangs here?

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1938 – Interior decor House of Worth

1938 – Worth gown of white satin by the Artist: Pierre Morgue.

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Artist: Pierre Morgue 1938

1942 – The Fashion House started by the great Charles Frederick Worth carried on in the tradition of his family although masive design changes evolved, and the Journal Mode et Travaux showed this amazing black image – The huge veiled head-dress is topped with a gigantic yellow flower. Was she perhaps a Widow with a brighter future?

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Black morning dress War time 1942

We all know the famous perfume of WORTH today and long may it continue.

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1947 Perfume advert Worth

1965 A more modern Advert for Worth perfume.

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Worth Fashion House Label