The term ‘designer’ as we understand it today owes its existence to Charles Frederick Worth – the English man who founded the House of Worth in Paris. His pioneering ways of working revolutionised the role of a ‘dress-maker’ or ‘coat-maker’, and lifted fashion into a legitimate art form.
Established in 1858, the Worth fashion salon attracted European royalty, followed by the middle classes. He played a key role in adapting the 19th century dress to make it more functional and suited to everyday life. It’s for this reason that many fashion historians consider him the father of haute couture.
In raising fashion to art, he used live models to promote his designs and began the trademark of sewing brand labels into his clothing.
By the end of his career, his fashion house employed more than 1200 people and his impact was well-know. The house ended in 1956, but the brands arm of perfumery remained. Since they offered such powerful “signature” scents, the parfumerie was bought out by a French brand. Since then it has changed hands several times.
Today, Worth still makes exciting additions to the perfume scene. They have just announced the release of their new limited-edition women’s perfume, ‘Belle’. It coincides with Walt Disney’s new live action adaption of the classic ‘La belle et la bête’, or ‘The Beauty and the Beast’. It’s inspired by the central character, Belle, meaning beautiful girl. The perfume is a creation of master perfumer Honorine Blanc of Firmenich and is a concoction of femininity, rose, aromatic woods and spicy pink peppers. it’s bottled in Worth tradition with the inscribed ‘W’, but for this edition, it’s boxed in a hollowed out book, alluding to Belle’s love of literature. Worth aims to raise awareness of conscious beauty, supporting vegan and cruelty-free practices. It is the first fragrance to be distributed worldwide by Akita Brands. Their founder, Nikita Mehta, calls it a “rebellious rose fragrance”. This stunning and collectable perfume comes in three colours and retails for £72.