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on 30 October 2014
A staggering, well referenced book with exquisite images of Worth's incredible almost lost archive. An invaluable resource as well as a delicious record of they way we wished we still dressed.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 12 November 2015
Charles Frederick Worth (13 October, 1825 – 10 March, 1895) was an English fashion designer who founded the House of Worth, a name that was without doubt one of the foremost fashion houses of the 19th and early 20th centuries. He is considered by many fashion historians to be the father of haute couture. Which I find fascinating, an English man inventing the world of French haute couture! Worth is also credited with revolutionising the business of fashion.

He became established in Paris in 1858 with his maison attracting European royalty, and wealthy high society soon followed. As with most historic designers Worth adapted clothing to make them more suited to the lives of the rich and famous of the day.

He was the first to use live models in order to show his collections and to sew branded labels into his clothing. The House of Worth became a place to be seen and a high society meeting point. By the end of his career, his fashion house employed 1,200 people and his impact on fashion taste was far-reaching, Worth indeed had those two essential ingredients of business acumen and design creativity.

The period covered in this book records the House of Worth’s heyday. It reviews Worth’s history succinctly while paying tribute to his work. However, the real beauty of this book is the subject matter itself, the many extraordinary photographic archives of garments produced by the House of Worth from 1889- 1914. Hundreds of photographs have been selected from over 8, 000 contained in 82 albums.

There is a wonderful chapter on “Tailoring”, which any fashion student will surely devour. This chapter exposes the longevity and influence the House of Worth has had on design and its impact on more modern day designers. Worth’s technique and construction are vigorously explored and the book demonstrates how the techniques he invented were used by later couturiers and fashion designers like the great Balenciaga, Jean Muir, Jean-Paul Gaultier and Dolce & Gabbana.

Sadly few of Worth’s dresses remain, but via this archive we can at the very least hold onto a broader memory of the designs that changed the world of fashion forever.

The book is profusely illustrated and fully explores the House of Worth's success in the great realms of haute couture.
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on 3 April 2014
Excellent book , plenty of photos and clear informative text .
You can just dip in to the pictures or read and learn in dept, what more can we ask for .
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on 19 June 2016
I had been longing to add this book to My collection. Sadly it is a bit of a disappointment.
The author has been lazy and based this book on an archive in the V and A. I agree the archive is an amazing resource. But we are treated to only a fraction of the 8000 photos in the collection and no other photos of Worth dresses from around the world. This is not the definitive book on Worth I had expected. But the book is well written and informative.
My other problem is the archive dates from 1890 when the House of Worth actually started in the 1850s, Charles Worth died 1895 so the archive really only looks at designs by Jean Worth not Charles. My edition of the book does not make this clear on the cover, but I see other editions do have "House of Worth 1878- 1956" on the cover.
Would I have bought the book if I had realised it's limitations? Yes, but I would not have bought at full price.
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on 9 March 2016
My only disappointment in this vol. is that 99% of its photographs are monochrome. Then again perhaps colour shots could have shown age rather than the cut of the thing... and the cut is something to see. Worth was and is a name to conjour with. His fashion house didn't just make frocks ---- it created masterpieces of their time... sometimes not quite what the clients were expecting, but always something special.
This is a book worth aquiring.
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on 11 June 2016
To be honest, I was disappointed with this book. What I had hoped for was a collection of photos of Worth dresses dotted around the world, all in colour. The book has photos from the time of their making in sepia/black and white. The book does contain interesting info about the company though, so it is not a dead loss, but I would love a definitive book on Worth and the amazing outfits they made that still survive around the world to this day.
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on 4 January 2015
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on 7 June 2015
Beautiful pictures and great history of the House of Worth
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