A built-in under structure and meticulous attention to detail set this couture evening dress apart from ordinary 1950s fashions. Under this elegant navy and white organdie dress a fitted petticoat was provided, complete with an integral boned bodice and stiffened skirt. This helped to emphasise a full bust and narrow waist, required for the ideal 1950s hourglass figure. Hand-stitching on the outer fabric reveals the garment's couture house origins, as does the careful application of an applied organdie panel to conceal the waistband without interrupting the printed pattern.
Considered by many to be the father of modern couture fashion, Charles Frederick Worth opened his Paris salon as early as 1858, quickly dominating French couture for the next 40 years until his death in 1895. Production at House of Worth continued under his sons Jean-Philippe and Gaston, and later under their sons. The French House was taken over by Paquin in 1954, although the successful London branch, selling under its own label from the late nineteenth century, continued until the early 1970s. Party. evening and cocktail ensembles, like this one, typify the outfits which survive.
Full item descriptions:
"evening dress" [1957.485], House of Worth, Roosen
"evening dress" [1951.226], House of Worth
"evening dress" [1956.21], House of Worth, Ascher Ltd