3. The Father of High Fashion

Stephen Dyer Butler University
Faculty Sponsor(s): Peter Wang Butler University
Igniting the popular phenomenon in 1858, the English dressmaker Charles Frederick Worth opened the first haute couture house, Worth and Bobergh, at 7 rue de la Paix in Paris. This house served the most prestigious and wealthy patrons with carefully crafted attire adorned with exquisite and expensive details. Charles Frederick Worth established this custom made, high fashion house in contrast to the rising trend of prêt-à-porter, ready-to-wear, clothing that had begun to spread throughout France and subsequently the rest of the world. The establishment of haute couture as a prominent feature of clothing design was a groundbreaking moment for not only fashion, but also for art and design. From conceptual drafts to the fabrication of the one of a kind garments produced for high society clientele, exploration into the fascinating world of high fashion provides insights into Charles Frederick Worth’s creative process and the tastes of the time. Along with exploring the impact of the individual works of Worth on art and design, haute couture’s social impacts can also be traced to the works constructed in the Paris fashion house. Charles Frederick Worth believed that fashion should be presented as another form of fine art. By bridging the worlds of design, craft, and art, the Paris fashion house established the increasing popular fashion trend of haute couture. The prevalence of haute couture in a modern context is directly linked to its origins with the high society, wealthy elites that first supported the artform and assisted its rise to fame and prestige.
Art/Art History
Poster Presentation

When & Where

Irwin Library 2nd Floor