FALL LADIES: While the Met preps for its “Jacqueline de Ribes: The Art of Style” exhibit, which will go on view at the Costume Institute’s Anna Wintour Costume Center on Nov. 19, the Palais Galliera is readying the first exhibit dedicated to the wardrobe of Élisabeth, Countess Greffulhe, from Nov. 7 to March 20, 2016.
Countess Greffulhe, who was Marcel Proust’s inspiration for the Duchess of Guermantes in his novel “In Search of Lost Time,” lived through the Belle Époque and the Roaring Twenties and was the acknowledged leader of the Paris social swirl for half a century. She became particularly influential after her marriage to the extremely wealthy Count Henry Greffulhe, raising funds, producing and promoting operas, sponsoring science, and dipping into politics.
Palais Galliera, a City of Paris museum, will display some 50 dresses from its collection bearing the labels of such couturiers as Worth, Fortuny, Babani, and Lanvin. There’s a tea gown with blue velvet on green silk designed by Charles Frederick Worth dating back to the turn of the century, a silver Babani coat from 1920, as well as other day dresses, evening dresses, indoor clothes, accessories, portraits, photographs and films.
The exhibition, curated by Olivier Saillard, the museum director, is to also shed light on Greffulhe’s theatrical public appearances, in a cloud of tulle, gauze, chiffon and feathers, sporting her kimono jackets or velvet coats. She particularly liked oriental patterns, favoring shades of gold, silver, pink and green. The outfits were carefully chosen to emphasize her slim waist and slender figure.
The exhibition is be presented at the Museum at FIT in New York in fall 2016 under the title “Proust’s Muse.”