The royal dress worn by the last Persian queen was secretly reproduced by Iranian craftsmen and smuggled out of the country to be displayed in a museum in Jerusalem.
The original dress was worn by Farah DIba, during her marriage to Iranian Shah Reza Pahlavi in 1967 and during her coronation as Empress, but disappeared during the Iranian Revolution, which brought the Shia Ayatolla Khomeini to the power in 1979.
The initiative to recreate the dress, a four-meter long dress, in velvet and decorated with cashmere designed and sewn by the prestigious French fashion house “Dior”, was the brainchild of Sivan Shahav, CEO of the Cultural Center Iranian from Israel who was approached by the director of the Israel Islamic Art Museum, GIlad Levian, who asked where the dresses were.
Shahav began his search after the original garment and approached Queen Farah who lives in exile.
After realizing that the dress had been lost, a team of a designer and six seamstresses was secretly organized in Tehran, who were willing to recreate the lost garment. They began the laborious operation to gather the necessary materials, and often not found in the capital, and complete a magnificent version of the original dress.
Once completed, the dress left Iran, in an operation still kept secret, and arrived in Israel where it features in the Paisley, a princely pattern, on display until April 2023.
In 1979, following the Iranian Revolution, the Shah and his Empress fled Iran to the West. A year later, Pahlavi died of cancer. His 83-year-old wife lives in Maryland, USA, has one son and is a grandmother of three.
After the Islamic revolution, Iran became a country ruled by fanatical religious leaders who oppress women. He also went to great lengths to erase the Shah from history.