Gala Dress c. 1805- unknown (Country). 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.