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June 09 , 2009

The House of Worth

Fashion Sketches, 1916-1918


This stylish compilation features 125 watercolor and ink renderings of designs from the house of Worth, the first couturier establishment and founder of the modern fashion industry. Sent to one of their clients, a seasonal resident in Litchfield, Connecticut, the sketches include fabric swatches, design names, detailed price information, and personalized notes.
The catalog includes two substantial essays that address the cultural and social significance of both the house of Worth sketches and the town of Litchfield. The first item introduces the town during the early twentieth century and the residents associated with the sketches, Julia Chester Wells and Mary Perkins Quincy. The second essay profiles the house of Worth in the 1910s, focusing on the sketches and their place within the broader history of fashion and noting social shifts and changes in fashion consumption. The final segment includes images of all 125 sketches, accompanied by twenty annotations that offer in-depth explorations of common themes such as historic design influences and ethnic inspiration. Published in conjunction with an exhibition at the Litchfield Historical Society, this volume is a source of interest and inspiration to individuals from fashion historians to costume designers.
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