We’ve all had a bit of royal fever leading up to William and Kate’s wedding and I am fine with admitting that I was just as excited for the royal wedding as I was leading up to the purchase of my first designer handbag. The butterflies, the shortness of breath, the anticipation….I know, I have issues. My royal fever has long run deep; what little girl doesn’t want to be a princess/queen/duchess (really any royal title would do)? Royal women have long been both fashion icons and sources of inspiration. While Grace Kelly will always hold a special place in my heart (she was a Philadelphia girl after all), Marie Antoinette is my favorite royal fashionista. She dictated taste and style throughout the European continent and has continued to make her mark on the fashion world long after her, umm….unfortunate demise.
This fashion devotee has played muse to countless designers from the great couturier of her day Rose Bertin, to the genius that was Alexander McQueen. If you haven’t seen Sophia Coppola’s 2006 biopic of the French queen stop reading now…you are to go rent or download the film right away, tout de suite! If you really want to get the full feel of the movie and be slightly historically accurate at the same time, I suggest you cozy up with a plate of macaroons and a glass of champagne. Even with the sound off, this is one of my favorite movies due to the breathtaking scenery, costumes, and the jewelry….oh the jewelry, be still my fashion obsessed heart.
Alexander McQueen for Givenchy 1998/1999
In addition, the Vogue spread that Kirsten Dunst posed for to publicize the movie highlights the unbelievable sartorial style of Marie Antoinette as interpreted by designers like Alexander McQueen and John Galliano. Both the pictorial and the film utilize the actual palace of Versailles which only further enhanced the breathtaking power of the clothing.
John Galliano for Dior Haute Couture A/W 2007, shown at the palace of Versailles
John Galliano for Dior S/S 2010
While Marie Antoinette might have over spent a little there’s no denying that she had impeccable taste and style. Once and while we should all embrace our inner Marie Antoinette and indulge in that pair of shoes with red soles that we’ve been lusting over or that stunning new dress that makes our heart beat just a little bit faster. Just make sure not to plunge any nations, big or small, in to financial debt along the way.
Christian Louboutin with Jean-Francois Lesage
And if you’re really in the mood to channel Marie Antoinette, try tracking down one her pieces of jewelry that are still floating about. After all, you can never go wrong with priceless gems as a fun holiday or birthday gift.
For further inspiration and information of Marie Antoinette check out these two great books on the French queen. I’ve read both and highly recommend them.
Queen of Fashion: What Marie Antoinette Wore to the Revolution by Caroline Weber
Marie Antoinette: The Journeyby Antonia Fraser