Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Worth a Second Look!

It is very significant that the name of the House of Worth’s premier perfume was “Je Reviens”, literally meaning “I Shall Return”.

Credited with being the father of Haute Couture, Charles Frederick Worth was an Englishman who set up shop in Paris in 1858, eventually closing in 1956 just shy of its centenary. Many of the things we take for granted these days were formulated by Worth. He is credited as the first designer to put labels onto the clothing he manufactured. He can also be credited with creating the fashion parade being the first to show his creations four times a year in parades. He completely revolutionized the business of dressmaking and formed the basis of what is the industry today.

With fashion week in Paris a couple of months ago, there was a resounding buzz of anticipation of the return of Worth under the helm of creative director Giovanni Bedin. Lying dormant and mothballed for decades and with basically a paired down perfume business, keeping the name active, is this the ultimate comeback for the house which invented Haute Couture? The house is even returning to their original address in Paris on the Fauborg St Honore.

Bedin originally trained with Thierry Mugler and Lagerfeld, presented a tiny collection (by today’s standards) of just 8 ensembles! Bedin presented two looks, both with tiny waists, stiff collars and hourglass shapes that evoke high Victorian femininity. All created out of fine silk brocades intricately woven with embroidery and embellished with gravity defying ruffles. Bedin says he “wanted to emphasize the essential—which, to Monsieur Worth, was always l’élégance.”

The show being very intimate and elegant gave the audience a chance to get up close and personal with the designs and a chance to appreciate the fabulous detail, which is not possible at a full blown runway show. The tailoring was magnificent recalling the Victorian shapes that would have been prevalent in Worth’s heyday.

Whether this is in tune with the modern woman of today who might not want to feel so constricted we shall have to wait and see. A prêt – a –porter line is rumored to be launched in November, so it will be interesting to see how this high couture look is going to be translated into ready to wear.

Je Reviens is also due to be relaunched, so upon the return, the question is will the modern day woman embrace this return. Maybe something that will help persuade her, is if Lady Gaga beacme a client?


  1. Wow, that Worth dress with the train is magnificent. I'm also impressed with the new worth designs, the tailoring truly is superb.
    That little confection in white with the corseting and the ribbons is adorable.

  2. That bottle is superb! I love the clothes too, that craftsmanship really is beautiful.I can't wait to see more from them!

  3. How lush!Him, the clothes. They are all very period- like Jill I can see the Virgin Queen in them easily- or an Infanta maybe?. Several are out of this world. What distresses me is that these are dresses-I can not see any proportion with them, they go majorette like or skater like. I know, I know-But Gaga could get away with it, though few others can even with great gams- Chloe Sevigny, Blake Lively. So drop the hems please. Terrific post and news. pgt

  4. I just watched Valentino, the Last Emperor, tonight, so I'm appreciating Charles Frederick Worth all the more. I love all the detailing that I'm seeing here, and if things come in threes, maybe I'll have fashionable dreams tonight. Thanks for a beautiful posting! Mark

  5. Wow...he has some big shoes to fill.
    But I'm both dubious and excited by this news.

  6. Belle, yes that little pink number is one of my faves as well.

    Architect, I also love the bottle, designed by Lalique, it originally came in a chrome box.

    Jill, yes she would!

    LA, yes clothes are lush, as is he. I would have liked to see a bit more variation also, as in longer hems etc. Believe it just to be a capsule collection.

    Mark, Great film wasnt it? Glad you enjoyed the post.

    Jason, yes we will have to wait and see!


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