Marie Antoinette Style in Fashion and Movies
Marie Antoinette Style in Fashion – Corsets, Make Up and Hair Styles.
Fashion in the years 1750–1775 in European countries was characterised by greater abundance, elaboration and intricacy in clothing designs, loved by the Rococo artistic trends of the period. The French and English styles of fashion were very different from one another. French style was defined by elaborate court dress, colourful and rich in decoration, worn by such iconic fashion figures as Marie Antoinette. She didn’t invent fashions. She promoted radical new ones through her public persona, in the modern, celebrity-culture way—and that’s why we like her today, instead of automatically despising her as the last century did.
Marie Antoinette was trained from age 3 to sit, stand, walk, and bow gracefully—and dance divinely—wearing tight stays, long trains, and wide skirts with all eyes upon her – the tools of self-creation and self-possession wholly in terms of striking costume and polished movement, as if she was trained for professional ballet.
Once she become a queen, Marie Antoinette patronized the newest looks from Rose Bertin, the leading Paris couturier and among them the provocative “robe a la polonaise,” with its bosom-enhancing bodice and its billowy, ankle-baring skirts, the whole crowned by a “pouf,” a 3-foot mountain of powdered hair decked with plumes, veils, and other objects arranged as saucy references to current events. All this and more she wore at court and in town, with swiftly contagious effect; and Bertin became known as the Minister of Fashion.
After reaching their maximum size in the 1750s, the hoop skirt began to reduce in size, but remained being worn with the most formal dresses, and were sometimes replaced with side-hoops, or panniers. Hairstyles were equally elaborate, with tall headdresses the distinctive fashion of the 1770s.
Most shocking in Queen Marie Antoinette was her extravagance, well-documented in the yearly records of her clothing expenses, in dressmakers’ accounts, and in memoirs saying that the queen wore nothing twice. Worse was the expensive toy farm she built at the Petit Trianon, complete with livestock and crops, where her friends played at being milkmaids and shepherdesses. It’s still considered her chief crime, but the queen had no sense of its effect. The French treasury was depleted, the deficit increasing, the people protesting against unbearable taxes and shortages, but Marie Antoinette, never taught to consider the people’s troubles, had no clue. The Queen’s Closet. What Marie Antoinette really wore. The Film Editorial by Anne Hollander