This high-quality silk dress, with its magnificent elegance, was used by the royal court. At this point in time, thin, cotton dresses were wildly popular and the Lyons silk industry, important for the French economy, suffered a severe blow. In order to revive it, Napoleon Bonaparte encouraged the wearing of silk garments in the royal court. In 1811, he issued an Imperial decree that men and women must wear silk clothes at public ceremonies.


  • Title: Gala Dress
  • Date Created: c. 1805
  • Location Created: unknown
  • Type: Dress
  • Photographer: ©The Kyoto Costume Institute, photo by Toru Kogure
  • Rights: Collection of The Kyoto Costume Institute
  • Medium: Figured silk with leaf-shaped motif; dress with train; shawl of white silk gauze with woven wool floral pattern, yarn fringe.

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