Why Paris became the center of fashion instead of other European cities?

Haute Couture is a French word for ‘high sewing’ It is the custom-fitted clothing. The invention of the sewing machine by Isaac Singer and dressmaker named Charles Frederick Worth recreated fashion history.

French word Couture meaning dressmaking  and may refer to sewing and fashion and Haute means high.

A haute couture clothes are always made for an private client. It tailored for the client’s measurements

Until 1850, 70% percent of clothes were hand stitched by people. The women’s dresses were similar because of climate, community standing and country.

30% of clothes were made by dressmakers, usually for wealthy people.

In the 17th Century, Rosa Bertin ( designer of Marie Antoinette) was the one brought haute couture to French culture.

With railroads, travel to Europe was easier. Wealthy women traveled to Paris for clothes and accessories.

Charles Frederick Worth (Father Of Haute Couture)

  • He was born in Bourne, England in 1825 who founded the House Of Worth. He established in Paris in 1858.

  • He created dresses

  • His fashion house attracted European Royalty rapidly. The House Of Worth became meeting point of society. Empress Eugénie was one the most prestigious client.

Worth’s Fashion Innovations


  • He reformed the popular garment crinoline. Women to manage with crinoline was very difficult even the most basic activities such as walking.

  • Worth wanted to design more practical silhouette for women so he created straight gown shape without a defined waist that became Princess line.

Short Hemline

  • He created a ‘walking dress’ which is shorter hemline at the suggestion of Empress Eugénie.

  • It was a revolution because It was at ankle length

  • Poiret, Callot Soeurs, Fortuny, Lanvin, Dior and more designer followed Worth’s footsteps. Some of these fashion brands still exists today.

Today haute couture shows are not made to be sold by for show for publicity.

In 1960, some group of young people were against to fashion standards including hippies, mods and rockers