Historic Haute Couture: The House of Worth Quiz

By: Staff
Image: refer to hsw

About This Quiz

House of Worth sent haute couture to dizzying heights during the 19th century, and more than a century later, the brand is set to rise from the ashes once more. Take our quiz to see how much you know about Worth — the man and the brand.

Where did House of Worth founder Charles Worth hail from?

Charles Frederick Worth was born Oct. 13, 1865, in Lincolnshire, England.

True or false: Worth started in fashion at a young age out of financial necessity.

Charles Worth was just 12 years old when his mother sent him alone to London to find an apprenticeship.

Where did Worth go to find inspiration for his dress designs?

A teenage Charles Worth studied portraits at the National Gallery in London to learn about dress styles and structures.

What year did Worth finally make the move to Paris to get serious about fashion?

Worth headed to fashion capital Paris in 1845 to make his name. After two years in the city, he found a job as a sales boy at fashion company Maison Gagelin.

What did Worth design to win an 1855 award for Maison Gagelin at the Paris Exposition?

Worth designed an ornate court train for the 1855 Exposition Universelle, earning a first place fashion award for his employer.

What was the name of Worth's wife?

In 1851, Worth married co-worker and fellow fashion designer Marie Augustine Vernet. She would later model her husband's creations to help spur sales.

What year did Charles Worth finally start his own fashion line?

Worth struck out on his own and started a fashion company in 1857. Fellow designer Otto Gustaf Bobergh was his business partner when House of Worth was founded.

True or false: Charles Worth is the reason that fashion brands are known as "houses" to this day.

Worth opened his first shop in a stately home on a quiet residential street to make the space inviting for guests. His choice of such a residential showroom led to the name "House of Worth."

What month did Worth choose to start displaying his spring and summer lines?

Knowing that his clients spent summers in the country, Worth started showing his spring and summer lines in January, which set the pattern used by modern designers.

True or false: Worth saw himself as more businessman than artist.

Not so much — Charles Worth often donned a velvet beret and fur-trimmed coat in an artistic style similar to that of Rembrandt.

What wife of Napoleon III helped make House of Worth the most desirable brand for women?

Empress Eugenie was a huge Worth fan. By donning his creations, she helped elevate his brand into the minds of the richest members of society.

How many Worth creations did Eugenie order for her trip to the Suez Canal in 1869?

For the grand opening of the Suez Canal, Eugenie decided she needed at least 100 Worth dresses before she left for Egypt.

What fashion trend is Worth best remembered for?

Worth was a master of the crinoline, a cagelike structure designed to replace the burdensome petticoats of the past.

True or false: Worth held on to the idea of crinolines and used them in his designs for his entire career.

As quickly as Worth embraced the crinoline, he was soon ready to move on. He switched to an oval petticoat design, then made the structure smaller and smaller until he eliminated it completely from his designs.

What did Worth replace the crinoline with?

By 1869, Worth creations no longer used crinolines. Instead, the front of the dress was flat, while a bustle gave significant volume to the rear of the garment.

What garment did Worth decide was no longer fashionable in 1862?

Worth decided that shawls were no longer in after 1862 and encouraged Empress Eugenie to eschew the garment, much to the shock of polite society.

True or false: Worth learned early on that he could make big bucks by licensing his designs.

Charles Worth licensed his first dress designs to other dressmakers in 1855 and continued the practice throughout his career.

House of Worth was one of the first lines in history to use these.

Worth used labels to mark his creations, giving the garments an added air of elegance and luxury.

What year did Charles Frederick Worth die?

Worth died in Paris in 1895, leaving his sons to carry on the business and his designs.

When did the last member of the Worth family retire from the family business?

Worth's great-grandson Jean-Charles retired in 1952, bringing the reign of House of Worth to an end.

What year was the House of Worth brand purchased by an investor?

In 1999, investor Dilesh Mehta purchased the defunct House of Worth. It took another decade for him to hire a designer and attempt to relaunch the brand.

What did Empress Eugenie nickname Charles Worth?

The empress referred to Worth as a tyrant of fashion but didn't hesitate to spend big bucks on his designs.

What is the name of House of Worth's most famous perfume?

Je Reviens has served as a signature brand for the company for decades and was reformulated in the 21st century to please a new generation of fragrance fans.

What color was the famous Je Reviens bottle?

The blue, tower-shaped bottle was a favorite gift for World War II soldiers to give to their sweethearts.

How many people worked for House of Worth by 1870?

Worth employed 1,200 people by 1870, many of whom sewed his famous creations by hand.

What is the literal translation of haute couture?

Haute couture translates as "fine sewing," but it's often used to describe the most luxurious, top-level clothing.

Which of these did House of Worth introduce to the fashion world?

Worth used live models to showcase his designs in his shop, which inspired the fashion shows of today.

Whom did House of Worth choose to design its 2011 debut collection for the 21st century relaunch?

House of Worth hired former Lagerfeld designer Bedin to create a modern collection for the historic company.

Which of these featured heavily in House of Worth's 2011 line?

The 2011 line consisted of numerous tutus, which were inspired by an archival piece from House of Worth's history.

What color scheme featured in the line's 2013 spring and summer designs?

The 2013 House of Worth collection emphasized black and nude designs but still kept the fine detailing associated with House of Worth's history.

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