Fashion Designer Worth

From Harper's Bazar Personal Column

-Miss Kate Field has had a thorough chat with WORTH, and describes him as a tallish man, with a big, clever head, and very prominent forehead. His brown eyes are singularly shrewd in expression, and their seizure of detail is surprising. He takes you in at a glance, and knows what your style ought to be, which is such a comfort.

"I prefer simplicity to every thing else," he says, "but there are women who don't believe in the value of a dress unless it is loaded with trimming. They drive me mad, for they won't take advice. Now what is becoming to one person is hideous when worn by another. I study to make the best out of the subject given me, as, unfortunately, we can't have people made to order, can we? If I had my way, all women should be slight, graceful, and pretty. Then dressing them would be an artistic pleasure. A dress should never overpower the wearer. It should merely be an appropriate frame for a charming picture, bringing out the beauties of the picture, but never distracting attention from it. So few women understand this. Why, when I find I can make a costume for less money than has been agreed upon, I actually annoy clients by telling them so. They think that it can not be as handsome as it ought to be, and they would rather have more material added, however much the design may be marred, than pay less. I assure you this is a fact. Consequently when I meet ladies who know that dressing is an art, I take very great satisfaction in having them as patrons. It isn't every woman who knows how to wear a dress. When I have done my best, I try to make my client do her best, by seeing her walk and sit down. To walk with style is rare enough, but when it comes to being able to sit down in a dress properly - well, there are not many equal to that, I can tell you."

[From: "Personal Column: Worth", December 15, 1877]