A Wardrobe Revealed
A short walk from the Pont d’Iéna bridge – which crosses the Seine and leads to the Eiffel Tower – is Palais Galliera, a lesserknown fixture on Paris’list of eminent museums but a haven for the fashionenthralled.
Though couture has been in the city’s lifeblood since before Marie Antoinette, the process of founding a museum for the art was surprisingly cumbersome. Initial plans were begun in 1907 by the Société de l’Histoire du Costume, which recognized the city’s rising prominence in the field and sought to create a dedicated focal point for its historical significance.
Only in 1977 however, and after various name and venue changes, did the Palais Galliera finally become the museum’s first independent home. Today, visitors can get their fill of stylish collections (all temporary) including haute couture, 18th- and 19th-century costumes, undergarments and accessories.
Through October 23, the current exhibition reveals The Anatomy of a Collection. Who wears what? asks the museum’s website. The garment tells the story of the wearer, from the corsets of Marie Antoinette to a blouse worn by a World War I nurse whose name is lost to history. The collection brings together a hundred pieces of clothing and accessories, including such items as a gown from the wardrobe of the Empress Josephine and a Givenchy two-piece dress worn by Audrey Hepburn. Other well-known names include Sarah Bernhardt, George Sand and