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date: 17 August 2019

Worth, Charles Frederick locked

(b Bourne, Lincs, Oct 13, 1825; d Paris, March 10, 1895)
  • Lourdes Font

Extract

(b Bourne, Lincs, Oct 13, 1825; d Paris, March 10, 1895)

English-born French dress designer ( see fig. ). Considered the founding father of haute couture, Worth is also remembered as couturier to the Empress Eugénie (1826–1920) during the Second Empire. A fabric salesman turned fashion designer, and a man in what had been a woman’s profession, Worth sought to elevate dressmaking to the status of art.

Worth was born into a middle-class family in northern England. His education was interrupted by the age of 13, when he began an apprenticeship at a dry-goods store in London. Dry-goods stores sold textiles, fashion accessories and some ready-to-wear and custom-made clothing. Worth worked as a salesman at two stores, Swan & Edgar and Lewis & Allenby, the latter suppliers to Queen Victoria. Around 1846 he left for Paris and found employment at A la Ville de Paris, one of the city’s magasins de nouveautés, equivalent to London’s dry-goods stores. Around 1848...

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