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Meilleur ami

  • Object:

    Fashion design

  • Place of origin:

    Paris (made)

  • Date:

    late 1920s (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Jean-Charles Worth (designer)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    pen and ink, pencil and gouache

  • Credit Line:

    Given by the House of Worth

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level E, case 96, shelf D, box 6

This is one of a group of 7 fashion designs by Jean-Charles Worth for the House of Worth. They are annotated with act numbers for an unspecified play, showing that even though they were designed as fashionable dress, Worth proposed them as appropriate for theatrical wear. Many actresses and performers went to couture houses to choose clothing from the latest collections for their plays, as here, or to request that the couturier design their costumes. We do not know who the actress was, but the garments are understated, elegant day and evening garments reflecting the fashions of the late 1920s.

The House of Worth, founded in Paris in the 1850s by Charles Frederick Worth and Otto Bobergh, quickly came to the attention of Empress Eugenie of France, and subsequently became one of the couturiers of choice of royalty across Europe, dressing the crowned heads of Norway, Italy, Denmark, Russia and Spain as well as Belgium. After Worth died in 1895, his son, Jean-Philippe, became designer. After the 1910s, Jean-Philippe appointed his nephew, Jean-Charles to succeed him as designer, and in the mid-1930s, his son Roger Worth, Charles' great-grandson, took over as designer. Roger's brother, Maurice, was the last designer for Worth in the early 1950s before the Paris house of Worth was bought out by Paquin in 1953. Paquin closed in 1956, donating a wide range of fashion plates and designs from their archives and reference collections to the Victoria & Albert Museum. The London house of Worth was originally a branch from the Paris house that opened in 1911. In 1936, the London fashion house Reville-Terry took over the branch and renamed it "Worth London", with Elspeth Champcommunal as head designer. From that point, until its closure in 1967, Worth London was a completely separate business to Worth Paris.

Physical description

1 of 7 fashion designs annotated with act numbers for an unspecified play.

Place of Origin

Paris (made)


late 1920s (made)


Jean-Charles Worth (designer)

Materials and Techniques

pen and ink, pencil and gouache

Descriptive line

Jean-Charles Worth. 'Meilleur ami' ('My Best Friend') pink lounging pyjamas with rose-patterned tunic and matching dressing gown. 1 of 7 fashion designs proposed as theatre costumes. Paris, late 1920s.

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Victoria and Albert Museum Department of Prints and Drawings and Department of Paintings Accessions 1957-1958 London: HMSO, 1964


Gouache; Pen and ink and watercolour; Pencil




Designs; Fashion; Theatre; Women's clothes; Informal wear


Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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