Te Papa lecture – The World of Charles Frederick Worth

In association with the exhibition Unveiled: 200 Years of Wedding Fashion from the V&A, London, Te Papa is presenting a series of lectures which expand upon themes within the exhibition. In the first lecture Maureen Montgomery from Canterbury University explores the World of Charles Frederick Worth – Pioneer of Haute Couture.

Clara Mathews' wedding dress by Charles Frederick Worth, 1879. Collection of V&A. Given by Mrs G.T. Morton.

One of the most spectacular gowns on display in Unveiled is a wedding dress made for the American Clara Mathews by the Paris couturier Charles Frederick Worth (left). 

In the latter half of the 19th century, a visit to Worth’s rooms at 7, Rue de la Paix had become compulsory for wealthy Americans visiting Europe. His gowns spoke of style, taste, and money at a time when display and appearances were everything. 

Guest lecturer Maureen Montgomery invites you to glimpse Worth’s world through the eyes of his high-society American devotees. Come along to find out why these women were his best customers – ‘better than queens’. 

Maureen Montgomery is an associate professor in the School of Humanities at the University of Canterbury. She is author of two books on women in US high society in the late 19th and early 20th centuries: Gilded Prostitution: Status, Money and Transatlantic Marriages 1870-1920 and Displaying Women: Spectacles of Leisure in Edith Wharton’s New York

Sunday 12 February, 2012, 2-3pm Soundings Theatre, FREE entry

Other lectures include:

18 March: Modern Bride – Vinka Lukas’s Wedding Empire with Lucy Hammonds

 15 April: War Brides’ Weddings – When Clothing Coupons Dictated Fashion with Dr Gabrielle Fortune

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