A Worth-y step back in fashion history

WAG still recalls the excitement around the “Spirit of Electricity” costume, an 1883 dazzler created for Alice Vanderbilt by Charles Frederick Worth.

We saw it during the press preview of “Gilded New York” back in 2013 at The Museum of the City of New York – and yes, it was that memorable.

We immediately recalled that moment when leafing through “The House of Worth, 1858-1954, The Birth of Haute Couture,” (336 pages, $85) ,published this week by Thames & Hudson.

The book, written by Chantal Trubert-Tollu, Francoise Tétart-Vittu, Jean-Marie Martin-Hattemberg and Fabrice Olivieri, features a forward by Christian Lacroix.

And fashion lovers with an eye on history will definitely want to consider it for their libraries.

Here’s how the book’s described by its publisher:

“Arriving in Paris in 1845, at the age of twenty and with only a few francs in his pocket, Charles Frederick Worth would go on to build the most prominent, innovative, and successful fashion house of the century. He was inspired by a love of fine art, luxurious fabrics, and his vision of the female ideal, and was the first to set out to dictate new styles and silhouettes to his elite clientele – not the other way around. He hosted them in his rue de la Paix salons, which included groundbreaking sportswear and maternity departments as well as silk, velvet, and brocade rooms, and a special salon with closed shutters and gas lighting designed to allow clients to try on ball gowns in lighting conditions precisely matched to those of the event at which they would be worn.

Organized chronologically and illustrated with striking ensembles, paintings, and documents sourced from both private family archives and the best fashion collections from museums around the world, ‘The House of Worth’ is an inspiring tribute to the house that started it all.”

For more, visit thamesandhudsonusa.com.

– Mary Shustack







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