CHARLES FREDERICK WORTH – WORTH A THOUSAND WORDS

22 May 2012

  • Since its inception in 1858, the House of Worth has been considered the ancestral home of Parisenne couture. Following its subsequent closure in 1956, the house was revived in 2010 and nurtured back to life by head designer Giovanni Bedin. The immensely rich archives have been a fundamental inspiration behind the rebirth of Charles Frederick Worth and now Bedin has been commissioned to create an exclusive online collection for JOYCE.

    As Bedin walks us around his airy showroom, filled with mannequins bearing exquisitely constructed gowns, he muses on the inspiration behind Charles Frederick Worth’s exclusive collection for JOYCE, “The inspiration is around Marie Antoinette in the 18th century, the pastel colours that she liked such as lilac, dusty pink and very delicate lemon, which we thought were a great idea for JOYCE, .”

    On the challenge of translating Charles Frederick Worth’s couture aesthetic to JOYCE’s international market, Bedin enthuses, “This collection is more guided, more directed for this particular market. We thought about the proportion that works best for JOYCE and the colour and the shape so it’s really thought out for the market which is very interesting for me and very exciting.”

    As he sits down at his workspace, Giovanni begins to sketch out one of the pieces from his exclusive collection that will be available in dusty pink and yellow. “This fringed jacket is becoming very popular with our customers so this was our first idea that we had to adapt for JOYCE. There is lace on the sleeves and then all the fringe is on the bottom,” he says. “What I love about lace is its appearance is very delicate and fragile but the message is very strong. It’s a very powerful, formal element and it gives something to the woman who wears it”.

    Versatility certainly seems to be prominent for Charles Frederick Worth’s online collection. As Bedin puts it, “I love to make a piece you can mix. It is always interesting for a designer to see how a woman interprets his message.” Yet Bedin is quick to assert that Charles Frederick Worth’s collection for JOYCE will still retain the quality the house is renowned for. “Even our Ready-to-Wear flirts with couture because the materials are the same, we just simplify. It is important for JOYCE that it is ready-to-wear but the attention is the same and that’s why it was exciting to do it.”