Woman's Two-Piece Day Dress: Bodice and Skirt
Worth used a brightly brocaded floral silk to soften the austerity of the black silk faille. Curved seams give the bodice an hourglass shape, which is accented by satin-edged triangular inserts of the brocade at front and back. Full hips are enhanced by a puffed overskirt, bordered in front by iridescent beaded fringe over the brocade center panel. The floral fabric is most dramatic down the back of the skirt, where it emerges from under the bodice's bustle tails to flow into a graceful train.
Designed by Charles Frederick Worth, English (active Paris), 1825 - 1895
During the late nineteenth century, American women flocked to Charles Frederick Worth's salon. The couturier cultivated the persona of an artist, modeling his image on that of Rembrandt, complete with a beret, a floppy, knotted silk scarf at the neck, and a loose, fur-trimmed coat. A contemporary, George Augustus Sala, described Worth as a man "who combines the suavity of a Granville, the diplomatic address of Metternich, the firmness of a Wellington, and the prompt coup d'oeil of a Napoleon."