A Wardrobe Re­vealed

Business Traveler (USA) - - DESTINATIONS -

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

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