Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Evening dress

Design House:
House of Worth (French, 1858–1956)
Designer:
Jean-Philippe Worth (French, 1856–1926)
Date:
1905
Culture:
French
Medium:
silk, rhinestones, metal
Credit Line:
Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gift of the Brooklyn Museum, 2009; Gift of Edith Gardiner, 1926
Accession Number:
2009.300.2979a, b
Not on view
This fabric is outstanding with the celestial theme which was a favorite in the House of Worth from its inception. The textile was woven à la disposition with the stars in graduated sizes, especially to be used on a skirt. The magic of this dress is in the three different materials used to make the star pattern, woven into the textile with both a satin and velvet surface and an appliqué pattern in a slightly different color and texture. In the light the stars would twinkle as the wearer moved and the light caught the different textures of the stars. At the same time, the rhinestones would light up the bodice.

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"
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