Art/ Collection/ Collection/ Art Object
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Ball gown

Design House:
House of Worth (French, 1858–1956)
Designer:
Jean-Philippe Worth (French, 1856–1926)
Date:
1898
Culture:
French
Medium:
silk, rhinestones, metal
Dimensions:
Length at CB (a): 19 1/2 in. (49.5 cm) Length at CB (b): 62 in. (157.5 cm)
Credit Line:
Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gift of the Brooklyn Museum, 2009; Gift of Mrs. Paul Pennoyer, 1965
Accession Number:
2009.300.1324a, b
Not on view
This gown is made from a very special fabric which was woven à la disposition to fit the shape and dimensions of the skirt so that the butterflies flutter upward from the hem and, being graduated in size, seem to disappear in the distance.

Jean-Philippe Worth began as an assistant to his father, Charles Frederick Worth, in 1875. Gradually he was allowed to create his own designs and when his father died in 1895, he became the lead designer for the house. He was praised for making elaborate artistic gowns with intricate trimmings on unique textiles, much like his father had before him. Although the House of Worth was still favored by royalty and celebrities through the turn of the century, their styles were no longer the forefront of French fashion after 1900. Around 1910 Jean-Philippe limited his design work to important orders and hired his nephew, Jean-Charles Worth, as the new lead designer before leaving the company entirely after World War I.
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