Marie (Whelen) Clews (1880-1959)

Mrs "Marie" Elsie (Whelen) Goelet, Clews

Associated Houses

Ochre Court


She was born in Philadelphia and was described as, "an active six-foot tall woman with a bold and confident sense of style - a fashion leader who patronized such well-known designers as Charles Frederick Worth, Jeanne Lanvin, and Paul Poiret". She often favored wearing kimonos and when Poirot designed her wedding dress on the occasion of her marriage to Henry Clews, it was distinctly oriental. Having broken off their engagement three times she was almost forcibly married in 1904 to Bobby Goelet. Their divorce was finalized in March 1914 and - having kept their affair a secret since about 1912 - she was married in private at her home (8 Washington Square North) to Henry Clews Jr. Combining their artistic passions, they created the Chateau de la Napoule near Cannes in the South of France.
Contributed by Mark Meredith on 22/10/2018 and last updated on 24/02/2023.
Image Courtesy of; The Kimono Inspiration: Art and Art-to-wear in America, by the Textile Museum (Washington D.C): Mysteries in the Costume Department, MCNY; Elsie Goulet is Granted Divorce, San Jose Mercury, October, 1914; Birth of Son, New York Times, 1915; High Art or Husband