Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gift of the Brooklyn Museum, 2009; Gift of Mrs. C. Oliver Iselin, 1961
Not on view
This is a very beautiful example of a Belle Époque dress emphasizing the aesthetic for pastel colors and light materials. The cutout work of the chiné applied to the lace is an outstanding feature which adds liveliness to the flowers, as if they were growing. Chiné is expensive to make as the pattern is printed on the warp before the weft is woven in, thus producing the blurred effect, reminiscent of a Claude Monet (1840-1926) painting.
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.
Marking: Signature label woven into petersham: "Worth/Paris"