Fashion Designers

One interesting question is who designed boys' fashions. I'm afraid I don't have the answer to this, but eventually hope to track some information down. Hpefully the estemed visitors to this page can provide some insights on the topic.

Women's clothes

Charles-Fredric Worth in the winter of 1857-58, founded a fashion house in Paris in the rue de la Paix. This was the first in the line of houses that would come to be known as haute couture.

Dozens of fashion houses sprang up in France following Worth's example and organized along similar lines. The 1900 World's Fair incuded twenty houses of haute couture, including Worth, Rouff (established in 1884), Paquin (1891), and Callot Soeurs (1896). Doucet, which later hired Poiret, opened its doors in 1880; Lanvin was founded in 1909, Chanel and Patou in 1919. The 1925 Decorative Arts Show illustrated the strength of this concept. The Show welcomed an amazing 72 fashion houses; in 1959, some 50 were registered with the Chambre syndicale de la Couture parisienne.

While one might not be able to say that Worth was "preeminent", you could certainly say he was still active and important among 20 or so houses. As far as I know (which isn't a lot), it was women's clothes only.

Figure 1.--Belgian Princes and Princesses are pictured here in a 1911 photograph. The boys wear matching Fauntleroy suits with large ruffled white collars. Note the old-style knee pants with three ornamental buttons. I'm not sure who designed these outfits.

Men's Clothes

Sorry. Nothing yet.

Children's Clothes

Sorry, nothing yet. But do let me know if you have any interesting insights.


Gilles Lipovetsky. The Empire of Fashion: Dressing Modern Democracy. Trans.
Catherine Porter. Foreword Richard Sennett. Princeton, NJ: Princeton Univeristy Press, 1994.

Christopher Wagner

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Created: June 6, 1999
Last updated: June 6, 1998