Worth “Byzantine dress”

© L. Degrâces et Ph. Joffre / Galliera / Roger-Viollet

© L. Degrâces et Ph. Joffre / Galliera / Roger-Viollet

At the wedding of her daughter Élaine, the Countess Greffulhe wore this sensational “Byzantine empress” gown, ensuring that press attention focused on the mother of the bride. Indeed, the bride’s dress was hardly mentioned at all. According to La Vie Parisienne, “As luck would have it, Madame Greffulhe reached the top of the steps a long time before her daughter and was able to remain there for about a quarter of an hour, in full view of everyone.” The dress bears a Worth label, but in his memoirs, Paul Poiret claimed to have designed it.
Proust’s Muse, The Countess Greffulhe runs through January 7, 2016 at The Museum at FIT in NYC.
“Byzantine dress,” 1904
Lamé taffeta, silk and gold thread, silk tulle, embroidered with glass pearls and metal sequins, fur (originally sable, replaced during restoration in the 1980s with rabbit).
GAL1978.20.2, gift of the duc de Gramont to the Palais Galliera

This exhibition was developed by the Palais Galliera, Fashion Museum of the City of Paris, Paris Musées.

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