Ball gown, House of Worth (French, 1858–1956), silk, French

Ball gown

Design House:
House of Worth (French, 1858–1956)
Charles Frederick Worth (French (born England), Bourne 1825–1895 Paris)
ca. 1872
Credit Line:
Gift of Mrs. Philip K. Rhinelander, 1946
Accession Number:
Not on view
Worth rarely scrutinized or adapted forms from the East; in this unusual example, he has emulated Middle Eastern enamels. More often, he was an instrument of a Western taste that was projected globally via imperialism. He is said to have created 250 dresses on commission from Empress Eugénie for her appearances at the opening of the Suez Canal in 1868. This gown was worn by Mrs. William De Forest Manice, the donor's grandmother, at both the French and English courts during the reigns of Napoleon III and Queen Victoria. When worn on such occasions, the dress had a detachable brocade train, since destroyed.
Marking: [label] "Worth / 7 Rue de la Paix"
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Orientalism: Visions of the East in Western Dress," December 8, 1994–March 19, 1995.

Brooklyn Museum. "The Opulent Era: Fashions of Worth, Doucet & Pingat," December 1, 1989–February 26, 1990.

Phoenix Art Museum. "Innovative Designers: The Originals," February 28, 1987–April 19, 1987.