As a 2012 fall intern for Design Packaging, we challenged ASU Graphic Design student Chad Musch to a project that required a combination of design, production, and engineering skills honed in our Scottsdale studio. While meeting the demands required of luggage in the 1800s and overcoming the branding hurdles of the era, Musch was asked to craft a collection of portemanteaus - French carryalls for clothing - for one of fashion history’s most notable designers, Charles F. Worth.
As the first designer to be considered an artist in addition to a craftsman dressmaker, Charles F. Worth was known for his simplification of lines and rich fabric selection. A quasi-feminist, he redefined the fashionable female form by successfully dethroning the crinoline.
Although he was not the first to tailor dresses on an individual bases, Worth’s aggressive self-promotion earned him the title "father of haute couture" catapulting him to become one of the most famed designers of that period.
How would a global clientele traveling to purchase Worth's custom fashions protect their distinctive pieces in style? In designing the items, Musch was required to consider the travel methods, materials, and manufacturing capabilities of the time period.
Transporting Worth’s delicate garments over long distances required a high level of protection. But the luxury of owning a Worth piece also called for its packaging to be a statement piece, conveying the quality of the garment inside. The solution was a true marriage of form and function.
Using pattern-detailed black leather, elegant engraved brass hardware, and plush quilting, the proposed “Worth” trunk exhibits a high-fashion aesthetic, era-appropriate function, and the personalized detail Worth was known for. Multiple touch-points, including a leather receipt envelope and monogramed interior box topper meant to protect the garment from light and dust, were included. These layers worked to create the unveiling experience synonymous with today's luxury packaging. A hat box designed for accessories and smaller garments completed the set.
The packaging's structure evokes the masculinity of the designer’s hands and the aesthetic mimics the flowing, intricate nature of his fashion. With this packaging, owning a Worth dress would make a statement both wearing and carrying it.
Credits and Closing
John Turner, Design Packaging's 3D artist and product developer made the concept renderings possible, as well as added the era appropriate engineering know-how required to create these items.
Chad Musch recently graduated from Arizona State University with a Bachelors of Science in Graphic Design. After completing his internship with Design Packaging Inc., he plans to pursue a career in graphic design with a focus in brand identity and packaging.