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24-10-2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WhiteLinen
I agree. It looks heavenly.
And only the top looks dated ... you cud totally pull off the skirt nowadays!

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24-10-2006
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^True...that white lace off, and little bit something to replace it and DANG! What a beauty.

The best designers are the ones who's designs last and look "modern", even if they'd be done in the 19th century/beginning of the 20th century. The power to last is what counts in my mind, not about making the biggest trend of the season and create a lot of buzz.

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01-11-2006
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CFW ballgown, circa 1890-95


heavenofgowns.com

And just for fun...


victorianweb.org

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02-11-2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WhiteLinen
^True...that white lace off, and little bit something to replace it and DANG! What a beauty.
Oh ... sexy!

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31-12-2006
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Worth 1930s couture sequined evening gown

By the 1930s, the House of Worth was under the direction of the fourth generation of this famous family. The Worth customer could expect elegant and superbly crafted designs. In 20th century literature, the cultural significance of the Worth name is clear. In his great novel of 1935, "The Asiatics," Frederick Prokosch places his 20-something protagonist in exotic Colombo, Ceylon. He is seeking the beautiful young Hermione Bariton. He comes to a grand hotel beside the lake.
I could hear the cicadas among the bamboo trees. And there she was, sitting out on the lawn among the lanterns and palm trees...I could hear the orchestra in the ballroom...We sat silently for a minute or two. I could see the lean bronzed women in their Worth gowns standing on the half-lit terrace, and the men in their white shell jackets...
The name "Worth" was then, as it is now, synonymous in Western culture with quality, sophistication, elegance—in short, with aesthetic value or worth.

This eye-catching gown is fashioned from black tulle, totally covered with sequins. Some of the colored sequins are textured, adding to the sparkle. I love the asymmetrical floral spray design!

This work of art can be worn! The gown has an unlined body-clinging style. It closes in back with hooks and snaps and is weighted to insure the proper drape. The gown is a show stopper with its plunging neckline, brilliant colors, and back train.

A new top-of-the-line "couture-style" dress from a major designer costs about as much as this Worth but is mass produced. You will never see your double in a vintage couture dress like this one. It is a "value proposition" for it will appreciate as no off-the-rack gown ever will.

The gown was purchased at the Doyle Couture Auction—see catalogue listing #520, April 2003 for the provenance. The label has been removed. The gown came from the same collection as a labeled Worth evening gown, which has sold.

The condition is excellent.

The size is approximately a 6. It measures: 38" bust (approximate due to the backless style), 30" waist, 38" hip, and 57" from the shoulder to the front hem.

vintagetextile.com
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31-12-2006
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Worth beaded velvet/lace cape owned by the Countess de Pourtales, c.1900

Quote:
This exceptional cape from the House of Worth is from the period when Jean-Philippe Worth was the head designer. The genealogy of the de Pourtales family and its connection with the famous Lodge family of Massachusetts are quite complicated, but I will do my best to outline the main points.

The House of Worth had Melanie, Countess de Pourtales, as one of its early clients during the late 1860s. A famous international beauty and member of the French Court, Melanie had all her gowns designed by Charles Worth. She was likely the muse of Charles Worth himself, according to oral tradition of the Lodge family. The cape was purchased from the estate of the Lodge family.

Here is the opening of a letter referring to the Countess Melanie and her husband the Count de Pourtales. I do not know the author or the intended recipient "M." in Cambridge, but the letter gives us a sense of the exclusive world of the A-listers at the top of Second Empire society in Paris.
PARIS, March, 1866.
DEAR M.,--I think of your sitting in your Cambridge home and reading this account of the frivolities of your daughter. Yesterday was Count Pourtales's birthday, and Prince Metternich thought out a wonderful scheme for a surprise for Count Pourtales and the rest of us. Princess Metternich and Countess Pourtales were the only ones taken into his confidence. There was a dinner at the Pourtales' in honor of the occasion, and the guests were Baron Alphonse Rothschild, Count and Countess Moltke, Prince Sagan, the Duke de Croy, and ourselves.

Thirty years later, the Countess Berthe de Pourtales makes her appearance in society. She was also a beautiful woman who loyally patronized the House of Worth in the later days of Charles Worth. The society column in Le Gaulois, May 31, 1894 describes a literary party at Versailles—"...Countess de Pourtalès, wearing pearl gray taffeta, sprinkled with dark flowers, pale cuffs, her hat topped with a yellow aigrette..."

See the signed portrait of Berthe, Countess de Pourtales in one of her Worth gowns below.

Provenance: This cape belonged to Berthe, Countess de Pourtales. It was purchased from one of her descendents, a Mrs. Lodge of the famous Lodge family of Massachusetts. I am not certain of exact genealogy. However, the connection between the de Pourtales and the Lodge families is made specific by an article in the December,1934 issue of Photoplay magazine, referring to "Lily de Pourtales Lodge and her father John Cabot Lodge..."

John Cabot Lodge came from the generation after the most famous Lodge of all. I refer of course to Henry Cabot Lodge, not to be confused with his grandson, Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr., the Senator from Massachusetts, 1937-1953.

The cape is a marvelous confection of texture and color. The lively quality of the composition speaks to us across the ages. The bottom layer of velvet has enough yellow in the color to remain vibrant after being covered with the black tulle and lace.

The outer layer of fine black silk tulle is decorated with black cut-glass beads and sequins that sparkle as the light shifts. Interspersed throughout are appliqués of handmade Point de Venise needle lace, which are embellished with black sequins.

The collar is also handmade needle lace. Rows of black silk ribbon ruching are used throughout the design. The lower edge of the cape is bound with green silk velvet and bordered with black lace ruffles. The cape is lined with emerald green satin.

The green velvet underlayer has an intensity which would be a tad too strong if the velvet were not under layers of tulle. But the color works perfectly under the tulle and lace. This cape came from the Worth atelier when Jean-Philippe was at the top of his form. He had perhaps a lighter touch than Charles. (Jean-Philippe had studied painting with Corot.)

Although the House of Worth was founded in 1858, we still sense the confident hand of a master designer at work in this cape—the subtlety of the masterful ornamentation is striking. What a contrast to the fashion scene today, when, within just a few years, we see rapid alternation between opposing camps—the decorators and the minimalists.

This brilliant cape displays the confidence and energy of the House that defined style for high society. In addition, the cape is a living piece of social history because of its connection to the de Pourtales and Lodge families. For both these reasons, I expect it to find a home with a museum or a major collection of high style clothing.

The condition is almost excellent. I found a few discrete mends in the coarse mesh that backs the lace ruffles. They do not show unless you turn up the ruffles and look for them.

The cape is 25" long at the center-back.
vintagetextile.com

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31-12-2006
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Worth black silk lace evening dress with elaborate pinwheel beaded pattern, c.1923. Label: "C Worth."

vintagetextile.com
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Worth asymmetrically draped evening dress decorated with bands of sequins and rhinestone shoulder rosettes, c.1921. Label: "C Worth."

vintagetextile.com

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31-12-2006
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Worth bias-cut silk crepe evening gown, c.1930. A small label of the model name and number reads "19020/10756 ARÔME robe."

vintagetextile.com

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31-12-2006
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Worth sequined silk chiffon evening gown with low-cut back and rhinestone straps, c.1930. Label: "C Worth."

vintagetextile.com

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31-12-2006
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Quote:
Dress
ca. 1889
Wool, with figured satin panels, edged with silk braid

With its minimal bustle and strong emphasis on the sleeves, this day dress illustrates the smoother silhouette that began to appear in the late 1880s. It is said to have been worn by Cara Leland Huttleston Rogers of New York, later Lady Fairhaven.

The bodice is waist length, panelled with satin and edged with black moiré ribbon. It is trimmed at the back with a made-up bow with long pendant ends. The dress fastens at the shoulder over a boned, green silk bodice lining. The sleeves are long with a high pleated shoulder. Collar and cuffs are faced with gold beaded tulle. The skirt has a slightly draped front, with the back flared and arranged in deep pleats. It is mounted over a green silk petticoat, and boned and taped to a bustle shape at the back. The skirt may have been altered and have lost a side panel.

A machine-woven label 'Worth Paris' has been stitched to the waist tape. Charles Frederick Worth (1825-95) was a celebrated Parisian couture dressmaker. He was born in 1825 in Bourne, Lincolnshire, and started working at the age of 12 in a draper's shop in London. Eight years later he moved to Paris, where he opened his own premises in 1858. He was soon patronised by the Empress Eugenie and her influence was instrumental to his success.

Made-to-measure clothes from Worth, as from the other great Parisian fashion houses, were an important symbol of social and financial advancement.

vam.ac.uk

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31-12-2006
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Quote:
Ball gown
ca. 1900
Silk velvet, trimmed with diamante; petticoat, sleeves and neck edgings are modern replacements in the style of Worth

Charles Frederick Worth (1825-1895) was a celebrated Parisian couture dressmaker. He was born in Bourne, Lincolnshire, and started working at the age of 12 in a draper's shop in London. Eight years later he moved to Paris, where he opened his own fashion house in 1858. He was soon patronised by the Empress Eugenie and her influence was instrumental to his success. His clothes, admired for their elegance and fine workmanship, became an important symbol of social and financial advancement.

This dress was worn by Princess Nicholas of Greece. Her grandson, the Duke of Kent, gave it to Sir Cecil Beaton, who was then collecting fashionable dress for his 1971 exhibition, Fashion: An Anthology. As with other evening gowns of the period, its original trimmings were very delicate and have been lost. The petticoat and neck edging have been carefully reconstructed from old photographs of Worth designs.
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Quote:
Evening dress
ca. 1910
Satin, overlaid with silk net embroidered with silver gilt thread and bugle beads; bodice of ruched silk velvet

Around 1910, leading fashion houses such as Worth created evening dresses with a straight silhouette. Their impact depended on the juxtaposition of colours and a variety of luxurious and richly decorated fabrics. On this garment, vivid velvet pile is set against light-reflecting beadwork, and the triple-tiered matt net overskirt covers the sheen of the trained satin skirt. The pillar-like look exemplified by this dress replaced the exaggerated curves of the early 1900s. It also shows how designers broke the strong vertical emphasis by creating overskirts with horizontal lines. The bodice, however, is still boned (nine bones).

Charles Frederick Worth (1825-1895) was a celebrated couture dressmaker in Paris. Born in England at Bourne in Lincolnshire, he started working at the age of 12 in a draper’s shop in London. After working for various haberdashers and silk mercers, he left for Paris in 1845. In 1858 he went into partnership with a Swedish businessman, Otto Bobergh, and opened his own house. He was soon patronised by the Empress Eugénie (1826-1920), wife of the French Emperor, Napoleon III, and her influence was instrumental to his success. Obtaining made-to-measure clothes from his house was a symbol of social and financial success. They were appreciated for their beauty, elegance and fine workmanship.

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Quote:
Evening dress and slip
(Evening dress) 1928-1929
(Evening dress) Hand-sewn tulle, with hand-embroidered iridescent sequins
(Evening dress) Worth (probably designers)

This long evening dress of aquamarine chiffon has a printed floral pattern in shades of lilac, orange and gold. The pattern is inspired by oriental designs and is outlined with iridescent sequins. The dress is straight cut with a low round neck at the front and a deep 'V' at the back. It is sleeveless. Attached at the hips are four shield-shaped panels of golden tulle outlined in golden sequins. A sunburst pattern is embroidered on them in iridescent sequins. Three graduated layers of gathered aquamarine tulle edge and join the panels. They are longer at the back than at the front. Worth probably made the dress, between 1928 and 1929.

Night life became the focus for the exuberance of the years after the First World War. It gave birth to the most glamorous evening fashions of the 20th century. Throughout the 1920s, and in spite of changing fashions, the legacy of the Ballets Russes remained evident in the exoticism and luxury of evening gowns and mantles. This was seen especially in the continuing use of shiny fabrics, embroideries, tassels and sashes. Evening dresses were sleeveless, long and feminine. They were embellished with exotic embroideries, sequins and metallic threads to achieve the maximum effect of brilliance. This dress shows the characteristic flounces of the later period, when volume made a reappearance in fashion.
vam.ac.uk

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Evening dress
ca. 1955
Beaded silk satin, with floral appliqué embroidery
House of Worth (designers)
Great Britain

vam.ac.uk
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