|Elisabeth de Caraman-Chmay, the Countess Greffulhe|
|House of Worth Lily Dress, Photo by Paul Nadar|
THE PROUST CONNECTION When Proust wrote his novel In Search of Lost Time (A la recherche du temps perdu), the Countess Greffulhe inspired his immortal character Oriane, The Dutchesse de Guermantes, of whom he wrote, "Each o f her dresses seemed like the projection of a particular aspect of her soul." The Countess Greffulhe, like her counterpart, the Duchesse de Guermantes, represented for Proust, the aristocrat as a work of art. "But elements of her style," noted Valerie Steele, "also influenced characters as diverse as the courtesan Odette de Crecy (later Madame Swann) and the Narrator's bourgeois lover, Albertine." Image right: "Lily Dress," 1896, attributed to Worth, black velvet application of ivory silk in the form of lilies, embroidered with pearls and sequins. But the Countess clearly contributed to ideas about its design and decoration.
|Robe de Ceremonie, Byzantine Empress Gown|