Evening coat

Design House House of Worth French
Designer Jean-Philippe Worth French

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 899

Historicism was a major hallmark of the House of Worth beginning with Charles Frederick Worth's interest in studying historical costume through museum research. This evening coat readily includes iconography of the Tudors with a Tudor rose pattern alongside the silhouette of alternative 16th century negligées in the full sleeves, standing collar and unfitted style. Worth ingeniously manipulates the textile to create an entirely new pattern on the back panel and has a keen eye for the creating the subtle black on black patterning on the top to counteract the stark contrast of the roses in the skirt.

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.

Evening coat, House of Worth (French, 1858–1956), silk, French

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