How to create a marie antoinette costume

Introduction: How to Make a Headless Marie Antoinette Halloween Costume

How to create a marie antoinette costume

Step 1: Find Your Materials

To save money I looked at the Dollar store for whatever I needed first and if I couldn’t find it there then I went to other places like Walmart or Canadian Tire. This saves cubic assloads of money.

1) Hanging Body Mannequin I found my hanging body form on Craigslist. You can also buy them at any retail display stores. I also considered just offering to buy one at store that had them.

2) A Long Dress or something to look like a dress. I converted a sheer curtain I found at the Buy The Pound outlet of Goodwill ($1.99 per lb-this is before it’s sorted, tagged and shipped to the stores). Tip: I got tons of sheets there to cover up my furniture to recreate the look of an abandoned house for my party. Much cheaper than getting them individually at the Goodwill store. Each curtain was approximately $5 at the stores but I got around 9 sheets and 3 curtains for about $25.

3) Backpack Buy one specifically for this project as it will be cut up. I forgot to get one on my Buy The Pound trip so I picked one up at Value Village for $2.99

4) Long Gloves The ones that go up over the elbow, the longer the better so you don’t need to make sleeves. I got mine at Value Village as well for $2.99. These were new in the package. I saw them elsewhere for $10-20.

5) Acrylic Paint and Paint Brush from the Dollar Store. I bought silver and the darkest blue I could find.

6) Silicone Found the cheapest one at Walmart

7) Nail Polish Red colored like blood from the Dollar Store

8) Packing Tape

9) Scissors

10) Glue Gun

Step 2: Mock Up

Put the dress on the mannequin or in my case I wrapped the curtain around in order to get an idea on what I wanted it to look like and figure out how I was going to make it work. I wrapped a scarf around the waist of the form and pulled out the back and sides of the fabric to create a dress like silhouette and to shorten it.

Step 3: Create the Holder

Cut a hole in the top of the backpack big enough to fit the body form snugly with the zipper closed. If you just put the form into the back pack normally and sort of close the zipper around it, the form will be too far away from your body and unstable. Picture 2 shows how close the form is to the back panel of the back pack. Make sure the front of the body form is facing the straps of the back pack. Nothing like backward boobs to ruin the effect!

Tape the back pack to the form and wrap the tape up in a criss cross pattern to secure tightly. Remove the hanger portion from the back of the neck. Reserve the screw(s).

Step 4: Make the Dress

Or put the dress on if you have one. My friend Nicole totally helped me with the dress portion. We cut the curtain in half after measuring the lengths we wanted for the front and back panel. We used a glue gun to glue a piece of white fabric to the inside edge of the back as it is all hollow. This piece helped to cover up the back pack since the fabric was sheer. I decided to use the curtain since the pleats created an automatic neck line and the extra fabric from the length helped disguise the fact that it wasn’t sewn shut on the sides. I poked a hole at the back of the fabric and put the screw back in just to give it extra stability (Pic 2). I held the pieces together while Nicole sewed stitches in the pleats to keep it together.

Put on the back pack on with the fabric over your head to mark off where you need to cut a hole for your severed head. You’ll want to leave some fabric to bunch a bit behind your neck and shoulders. I ended up using another lacy curtain to add onto the dress. It made the dress look a little more authentic and helped tie in the gloves as they were white and the curtain was a cream color. By strategically layering the fabric, it looked like the lace part was an underskirt with the sheer fabric as the outer layer. It was common to dresses in that era. We cut a band off the lacy curtain to use as the belt or sash that ties around the waist of the form and that’s what holds the fabric in the right places to make the curtain look like a dress. The rest of the lacy fabric was sewn onto the edge of the hole where my head would be. After tying the belt, pull the fabric out from the top of the belt on the sides to create sleeves.

With the costume on, position the gloves inside the sleeves with enough length for it to look like they are holding the head. The fingers should be comfortably snug under your chin. Stuff the arms with stuffing and position inside the sleeves and sew on. Intertwine the fingers and add a few stitches to keep together.

Step 5: Start the Finishing

Add the silicone in blotchy textures onto the neck. I carved out a spinal like shape out of a piece of builders Styrofoam. It didn’t really look good at the time but I figured it’d be dark and no one would come that close anyways. I added it onto the silicone. Allow to dry for at least 6-8 hours. In the mean time, start painting the body form where the skin shows. I layered the silver everywhere and then shaded using bits of the blue.

When the paint and silicone were dry I used the nail polish to create the blood. I never realized how much nail polish reeks until I had emptied 2 full bottles out. Make sure you are in a well ventilated area. Do it outside if you can. To my amazement the nail polish started to eat away at the Styrofoam where it had dripped on and the effect was awesome! I had one bottle of matte red and one that was slightly shimmery which worked out really well. At the time I couldn’t decide which one looked the most realistic so I bought both. I dripped the nail polish down the neck and dress. The thicker consistency created a great drip pattern. The 3D silicon texture makes it even more realistic.

There’s really no questioning why doing a Marie Antoinette costume for Halloween is a perennial go-to. She is, after all, one of the most famous women in history, and her life was seemingly a pretty wild ride. Originally from Vienna, Austria, she married the future king of France, Louis XVI, when she was 15 years old. Before long, the couple basically embodied all the over-indulgences and life of excess that you would imagine royals enjoy… except they were living super well while the rest of the country was basically starving. (Remember the “let them eat cake,” line? Yeah, this is where that is from.) The French Revolution broke out and Louis XVI was executed, with Marie Antoinette facing the guillotine shortly thereafter.

SO, she had a pretty complicated and intense life, full of ups and downs. As we all know, dressing up as someone from the 1700s is no small feat, but her looks were so glamorous it’s definitely worth the effort. We pulled some of our favorite YouTube tutorials to help you get started!

Marie Antoinette Classic Makeup

Want to go for the classic Marie Antoinette look? Start here.

Zombie Marie Antoinette Makeup Tutorial

Who doesn’t like to merge classic, gorgeous periods of history with blood sucking zombies?

Marie Antoinette Costume Party Tutorial

Want to go for a really clean, chic look that is appropriate for a high-end Halloween party? Definitely check this tutorial out first!

Haunted Marie Antoinette Tutorial

This look is a nice mix of classic and Halloween-y, leaving you looking both unsettling and glamorous. And who isn’t aiming for that?

“Dead or Alive” Marie Antoinette Tutorial

This look is super cool because it involves some knowledge of history — Marie Antoinette ultimately faced the guillotine, so the bloody neck makeup makes a lot of (sad) sense! This look is a nice in-between if you don’t want to go full zombie-gore, but you want something a little spooky.

Happy Halloween, everybody! And let them eat cake — or candy!

How to create a marie antoinette costume

I have always loved Marie Antoinette and decided to finally make a Marie Antoinette costume. I didn’t want to purchase any extra fabric so I looked through my stash and found leftover pieces from a Versailles inspired bedspread, pillows and curtains I made for my daughter. I had just enough leftover pieces to make the whole outfit out of home decor fabric and trim.

The corset top took a few days to make. I had to hand pleat the trim that I placed on the front of the corset. I also ruffled a piece of leftover curtain fabric to attach to the bottom of the corset. The lace at the top the neckline was a piece of $300 lace that a friend had me use to make a wedding bolero for her. I also used the lace on the sleeve ruffles. I did most of the pinning and hand pleating in the car while I waited for my daughter to finish her soccer practice.

I originally had one color on the front of the corset, but decided to change it because it blended too much. I made a short skirt for the costume, but decided to make a long skirt since I was going to wear it to a Catholic school celebration. So, I had one day to make this new skirt.

I needed a pair of French matching mules, so I took a pair of old faux Louie Vuitton mules and covered them in leftover fabric scraps and trim.

It was a bit difficult to make the corset because I decided to change the front part twice. Many people did compliment my outfit and couldn’t believe that I had actually made it out of leftover home decor fabric and leftover pieces of trim and lace.

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A modern girl’s guide to 18th Century misbehavior

The best part of Halloween isn’t just the costumes — is the creativity and ingenuity. The fun is in how people transform themselves using what they’ve got: their brains, their two hands and the odds and ends that someone else would toss into recycling. Here are some real-world Marie Antoinette costumes to get you inspired and ready to become the queen on the big day.

1. Go for color
There’s nothing better than professional makeup and hair stylists for inspiration. Read this post to learn a pro’s detailed process but don’t be daunted. Use the photos for inspiration. Spray color for your hair, feathers and technicolor makeup complement your outfit add a touch of edge to any Marie ensemble.

2. Go Big!
You’ll want to study this detailed post of a modern Marie who crafted this magnificent pouf out of artificial hair, curling the locks around broomsticks and forming them around chicken wire.

3. Use what you have
Martha has this idea for newsprint wigs, which might make styling an 18th century-worthy pouf a little easier, since you’ll be using paste not hairspray.

4. Get resourceful.
These next costumes might rankle the avid Marie fan who cannot bear to see our queen portrayed in such a gorey fashion. But I include them for their ingenuity. Did you know you can fake a hoop skirt with old umbrellas. More tips are available here.

Here’s another on the same theme. You might check out this post’s photos and Flickr stream for ideas on how this mom did her daughter’s hair and makeup just so.

5. Use all your talents
Can you sew? There are plenty of historical costume blogs online, some on my own resource list. You can also search the internet for sewing patterns from makers like Simplicity. This crafter did just that and made this Betsey Johnson inspired Marie Antoinette mini.

What do you think? How would you put together a Marie-inspired costume?

Who was Marie Antoinette?

Marie Antoinette was born into an Austrian royal family on November 2, 1755. She later became the wife of Louis XVI of France and became a style icon. According to historical experts, Marie Antoinette devoted most of her time to planning her wardrobe and hairstyles and setting new trends. She commissioned more than 300 dresses a year and never wore anything twice.

She had the same approach for interior design making sure every room was different and every little detail was perfect. Her rooms would each have a different theme and particular colour scheme. Here is an example of the rooms she designed in Versailles.

Marie Antoinette’s Fashion Influence

I am going to highlight my favourite outfits designed and chosen by Marie Antoinette. The first dress showed below, is one of Marie Antoinette’s most famous designs. It is an ornate design with intricate detail. If you look closer you can see the tassels and bows almost everywhere on the dress.

Another accessory Marie Antoinette always wore was headpieces. She often wore feathers and bows in her hair and was one of the first to start that trend.

Lastly, I want to show you my favourite Marie Antoinette design. Everything about this dress is beautiful. The colour scheme is so elegant and the lace detailing makes it feminine and delicate. I also absolutely love the small detail in her hair and the choker that perfectly matches the dress.

I highly encourage anyone who is unaware of Marie Antoinette or wants to learn more about her to read up on her influence in art and fashion. Now if you don’t want to read historical pieces then I suggest watching this movie. Sure, it may not be very accurate but it is a fun watch full of beautiful dresses and accessories!

By Eddy Firestone | Submitted On September 05, 2009

Eras of human experience to choose from, but revolutionary periods tend to be particularly well fitted for Halloween costumes. Perhaps it’s the idea of turning over a vast page of history, or the especially high number of deaths of these periods, but whatever the reason, there is much to choose from when selecting a Halloween costume.

One of the most popular periods of history to choose costumes from is the French Revolution. Not only was there great upheaval, but there have been many books and works of art about this turbulent time in world history. There are many extreme character types to choose from, as well as specifically recognizable fictional or real people. From the poverty stricken dying masses, to the opulent lifestyle of the royals at Versailles, to Jean Valjean from Les Miserables, and Marie Antoinette. Another delightfully fitting reason to choose from this era for a halloween costume is the popularity of the guillotine as a method of execution.

The guillotine is a device used for execution by decapitation. Is consists of a stocks-like holding place for the head of the victim, and a tall track at the top of which is a very sharp weighted blade. When the order is given, the blade is released and falls, quickly severing the head of the victim. While it was originally created to be a more humane method of execution, it’s bloody reality gave it tremendous notoriety in the history books, as well as a particular association with the French Revolution, as it was highly favored then. Since the French executed so many during their revolutionary period, the options for French Guillotine costumes are numerous.

You could easily build an old fashioned suit and be Sydney Carton from Dicken’s “A Tale of Two Cities”. This important fictional character makes the ultimate sacrifice for love, and is beheaded by guillotine. With a simple peasant blouse, knickers and stockings, the clothing of this costume is set, and the only other necessities are an authentic hairstyle and a thin line of blood on the neck to signify decapitation. If your hair isn’t long enough to pull back into a period hairdo, there are many places to find wigs online.

Another good option is Marie Antoinette. This notoriously selfish and spoiled Queen was also guillotined, but her costume dress would be much more ornate. Not only was she a royal with seemingly unlimited resources for clothing and accessories, but she was known for advancing fashion in the court during her time there. For this costume, you’ll need a full skirted (preferable cage hooped) dress with a corseted top. For the best effect it should be in a pale colored fabric and decorated with beads or jewels. The makeup should be pale and the features simply defined. A small dark red mouth and brightly flushed cheeks are complimented by a large fake birthmark somewhere on the face. The crowning touch for this costume is a large powdered beehive wig which can be adorned with beading, jewels and veils for authenticity.

Have fun dressing up for Halloween and don’t lose you head!

The best way to find quality Costume Wigs is to do a Google Search. You can also find fantastic Afro Wigs the same way.

Creating an elaborate costume such as Marie Antoinette and not spend a lot of money is possible with a little savvy and a crafty hand. Thrift shops and craft stores hold most of the items needed to create a royal costume. Elaborate decorations and details are the key to making this costume come alive. A little research of some of the details she added to her hair and dress add a uniqueness to the costume. Last of all the make-up of this queen easy to reproduce. A costume with such decoration can be time consuming but the end result is remarkable.

Thrift stores carry all kinds of prom and wedding dresses at reasonable prices. When looking for a dress the more fabric the better. It needs to be very poofy and if a hoop skirt or crinoline is available it will help to poof the skirt of the dress out even farther. The dress should have sleeves and a fitted bodice. Decorate the dress with ribbons, bows, pearls, flowers and even jewelry.

Recreating Marie Antoinette’s hair is the most challenging and yet will cost the least unless splurging on an actual wig is in the budget. Her hair was blond and always curly. Whether buying a wig or creating this do with natural hair there are keys to success. To create “high” hair a filler of some type is needed and is pinned to one’s hair. Ideas for a filler could be foam, a ball of yarn or even chicken wire! The curls are pinned around this filler and the higher the better. The queen added unusual decorations to her hair such as birds, feathers, and jewelry. The make-up is very pale with red lips and a beauty mark. Long eyelashes, light colored eyeshadow, and blush on the apples of the cheeks will top off the look. Finish off the costume with lots of jewelry, an elegant fan and even a face mask.

Creating such an elaborate costume may be time consuming but does not have to break the budget. Thrift stores and craft stores will provide supplies. Imagination and patience does the all the work without breaking the bank.

How to create a marie antoinette costume

All week I’ve been saving the best for last – and here she is – Marie Antoinette. This will be my actual costume for Halloween weekend and I’ll be sewing a matching costume for Adam as Louis XVI. I’ve wanted to dress as Marie Antoinette since I saw seeing the Sofia Coppola biopic with Kirsten Dunst in Paris in 2006. Again, I’m using a mix of Hollywood and history for my costume.

Inspiration:


Film stills from Marie Antoinette (Columbia Pictures, 2006), VOGUE Sept 2006 and official portraits

My choice in textiles was two fold – first I needed something that looked 18th century french and I also needed it to be cheap – I bought 8 yards to complete this dress. I’m so happy with what I found. It resembles what I’ve researched in my history books called Indienne. From the Kyoto Costume Institute’s FASHION:

Indienne, a painted or printed cotton fabric made in Indian, had been well known in seventeenth century Europe; however, there was a ban on importing or producing indienne due to its extreme popularity among the Europeans. When the ban was removed in 1759, the printing industry in England and the French Alsace region immediately grew. Printed cotton fabrics became popular not only for interior decoration but also for clothing, since their exotic and refined polychrome patterns were appealing.”

For the stomacher (or bodice front), I used coordinating blue stripes, cut on the bias and seamed up the middle to create a lengthening chevron stripe. Finally, using budget friendly by-the-roll poly satin (in 5/8″ and 1 ½” widths) and lace, I added pleated neckline decorations, bows and frilly cuffs.

The construction for the dress was fast and easy – I made the base of the dress in under two hours, but the embellishments took another three.

In Marie Antoinette’s time, multiple layers of foundation garments would have created the dramatic shape of this dress. The wide hip extensions are called panniers. I used two down pillows, folded over a belt worn low on my hips for the same effect. I realize these totally mess up the straight hemline, but hey! it’s a costume and I opted out of doing a fancy hem on a 20 foot sweep.

For my dramatic hairdo, I’ve used a styrofoam block, a wig in my natural hair color and baby powder. I pinned the wig to the block, and then used my own hair (that was teased to death), and pinned it to the wig. I also used ultra hold hairspray and a handful of bobby pins. The powdering process is similar to what I did for my George Washington costume two years ago. Sprinkle powder, pat pat pat, sprinkle more powder until you have the look you want.

The makeup was kept very innocent – I used a little eye liner and mascara and let the excess baby powder from the wig give me a pale face. To brighten it up, I used NARS blush in Desire.

Key Elements:

  • White powered (super high) updo
  • 1770s style dress
  • Paniers
  • Embellishments like lace, ribbons and pearls

Cost: $75+
Difficulty Level: Advanced
Time Commitment: 6+ hours for construction, 1+ hour for hair and makeup

If you’re as sick and tired as we are of slutty girls walking around in hiked-up and whored out versions of Snow White and “angel” costumes on Halloween, then you can fight back by turning to the opposite end of the spectrum. No, we’re not telling you to dress up like an Amish girl.

Rather, the makeup tutorial in this video goes for a very pretty, Marie Antoinette inspired look with a pale face, cherry red lips, and minimal eyeshadow. Popular during the Georgian period, this look is conservative and very beautiful.

Make-up was thick and white to cover the lead poisoning and skin corrosion, but here we’re opting for a simple pale face instead.

Products used:
*Off-white shadow – Vanilla from MAC
*Soft, shimmery pink shadow – Girlie from MAC
*Hot Pink shadow – Pink from Bloody Mary
*Gold shadow – Juiced from MAC
*Gold pigment – Melon from MAC
*Copper pigment – Copper Sparkle from MAC
*White shimmer shadow – Nylon from MAC
*Lip liner – Eastend Snob from Rimmel
*Lipstick – Impassioned from MAC
*Gold mascara – from Wal* Mart in the Halloween section
*Eyeliner – Black water proof from Maybelline

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By: Jenny Abramczyk, Erica Maddox, Stuti Thapa, Anisha Weimer

Marie Antoinette’s Theater and Set Designs

During her childhood in Vienna, Marie Antoinette’s life was very much influenced by art, music, the opera, and the theater. This fact is probably what inspired her to build her own private theater at her estate in the Petit Trianon, where she could perform in plays and operas in front of an audience of close relatives, members of the royal family, and some rare friends. Her theater was officially built in 1780 under the supervision of Richard Mique, a renowned architect. The theater only had a capacity of 120 people, but its stage was large enough to hold professional performances. Additionally, the greatest luxury of the theater was the advanced machinery (for that time period) used for scene changes. The outside of the theater was made to look simple and structured while the inside looked contrastingly glamorous with balconies and walls covered in blue silk from Lyons. There were two nymphs above the stage that supported a giant cartouche (an oval with a horizontal line at one end) with the queen’s monogram. And beneath the ceiling, a series of oval loggias (covered exterior galleries or corridors) with gilded grills encircled the room. The colors of the interior were a harmony of blue, white, and gold tones, which was Marie Antoinette’s personal taste in décor. Although the inside of the theater looked spectacular, none of the decorations were real. In fact, everything from the marble outline around the orchestra to the papier-mâché balusters (spindle structures that supported the handrail of a staircase) and the sets were fake. Most of the backdrops used for Marie Antoinette’s private plays were done with watercolor, and a few of them were actually preserved until present day. For example, the original “rustic set” (Figure 1) and the “set of the forest” (Figure 2) from Marie Antoinette and her troupe of Seigneurs’ performance of Le Roi et le fermier by Pierre-Alexandre Monsigny in 1780 were preserved.

Figure 1 Figure 2

Marie Antoinette’s Costumes: Film vs. Fiction

Throughout history, public opinion on Marie Antoinette’s personal taste was polarized between the people who viewed it as vapid, costly, and showy and the people who viewed it as precious and sophisticated. However, an important point to note is that as the queen of France, Marie Antoinette was expected to be a patron of taste, art, and fashion. She was usually obliged to showcase the finest examples of French design. Therefore, her dress was always of the latest Parisian fashion while still being appropriate for a queen. One important component of Marie Antoinette’s personal style that was usually reflected in her dress was her love for flowers, especially roses. In the 2006 film Marie Antoinette directed by Sophia Coppola, this fashion statement was showcased throughout the film on the costumes worn by Claire Danes, the actress portraying Marie Antoinette. Figures 3 and 4 below were just a couple instances where roses and or floral designs were accented by the film’s costume department.

Figure 3

Figure 4

During the scene of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette’s wedding party in the film, the queen was wearing a voluminous wedding gown known as a robe a la Francaise (Figure 5). This style of dress had a full pleated cut (Watteau Pleats) in the back and a fitted front with a dome-shaped silhouette and a low square neckline, which had an open bodice section to display the decorative detailing, which in this case happens to be four dainty bows. All things considered, this look from the film was historically accurate since it conformed to most of the characteristics of robe a la Francaise during the time period of Marie Antoinette.

Figure 5

The masked ball look from the film however, was less historically accurate and more Hollywood glamour (Figure 6). Although the silhouette of the dress seemed to be ornate and antique, the dresses in the 16 th century were typically made out of silk brocade fabric and printed cotton while the dress in the film seemed to be made out of silk organza material and had heavy sequin embellishments. (As a side note, the difference between silk brocade and silk organza is the weightiness of the fabric; brocade is heavier while organza is crisper, sheerer, and more lightweight.)

How to create a marie antoinette costume

Figure 6

Overall, in the film Marie Antoinette directed by Sophia Coppola, the costumes worn by the actress portraying Marie Antoinette were a mix of historically significant and insignificant. But with that said, most of the costumes in the film had a touch of Marie Antoinette’s signature personal style composed of preciousness, elegance, and femininity.

A DIY Extraviganza by Camryn Daytona

Marie Antoinette, apparently.

I won “Crowd Favorite” in the costume Contest! (and my mom said this photo makes my head big like the Queen of Hearts in the 2010 Alice with Johnny Depp. OFF WITH HER HEAD!)

I chose this costume by random chance. I was in a thrift store with my mother and saw what would later become the top and snatched it up. Well, it turns out I bought a Sexy “Lady Versailles” costume, which I didn’t know until after I planned to use it for the infamously deceased queen. Interestingly, when I told my best friend about my costume decision, she looked me straight in the eyes and demanded to know what my A.P. European history teacher had done to me. “Bailey,” I replied, “I’ve always been a nerd.”

” data-image-caption=”” data-medium-file=”https://craftingonpinsandneedles.files.wordpress.com/2015/11/98665.jpg?w=209″ data-large-file=”https://craftingonpinsandneedles.files.wordpress.com/2015/11/98665.jpg?w=279″ src=”https://craftingonpinsandneedles.files.wordpress.com/2015/11/98665.jpg?w=139&h=196″ alt=”98665″ width=”139″ height=”196″ />The costume was short, very short. Only the lighter blue I wear as the top was included (it’s pictured below). We had to rip off the lace that was on the sleeves, because it was short and not as pretty as what I wanted, and tuck the chest which was far too large for me. So I knew right away that the first thing I wanted to do was add a skirt, a long, puffy one like the one Marie wears on the cover of the Dear America: Royal Diaries book that I fell in love with years ago. It is this book, not my Euro teacher that inspired the dress, no matter what my friends think!

The “Little Bo Peep” dress

For the skirt my mom suggested using her old prom dress (which I lovingly call the Little Bo Peep costume because, well, you get the picture. Lots of bows and lace) so we carefully ripped the skirt from the top, then removed the outer layer of the skirt, leaving us with a beautiful lace piece to use for the skirt’s underlay.

This is what a ‘sexy’ Marie Costume looks like

This left us with petticoats and no skirt. So we went to Joanns’s (completely forgetting the two other skirt/dress pattern’s in my mom’s closet which I’ve found a great way to organize! (post about that to come!)). So we picked McCall’s Pattern 6097 because I liked the ruffle-ly butt, which we sadly didn’t use for this project, but maybe one day! We also picked a nice brocade-feeling fabric (can’t go wrong with 50% off!) and went home with two yards. Only to return a few days later for two more yards, lol. We also had thought to rip the excess lace from mom’s prom dress (on the sleeves and collar) so we didn’t need to worry too much about extra lace). The last thing we got was blue ribbon, which would later end up on my skirt, lacing my dress, and in my hair.

McCall’s 6097 – a.k.a. “Ruffle Butt”

McCall’s 6097 – a.k.a. “Ruffle Butt”

The skirt used about four yards of fabric, and we realized early on it wasn’t going to have the poof we wanted if we didn’t do something, so we ordered a hoop skirt off of Amazon, which, thanks to Amazon Prime, arrived the Tuesday before halloween, which was just in time to put the finishing touches on the skirt.

For my hair we searched through several pages of “Marie Antoinette” wigs on Amazon, but found nothing we really, really liked (that also had good reviews), so we went with a George Washington wig from Party City, pulled out the pony tail, brushed it, put it in curlers, and then tied bows into it. It looked fabulous and was hard as a rock from all the hair spray.

I couldn’t reach my feet, let alone lace my skates!

Now that I’ve finished rambling about how I made it, I shall explain what I did with it. I went figure skating. Naturally there were some confused people, namely about who I was, why I thought skating in it was a good idea (I second this), and where I got it. I was asked if I was Betsy Ross, Martha Washington, the Fairy Godmother (by a hopeful girl in a Cinderella costume), and even once if I was George Washington (this person clearly had a more interesting history class than me!).

This shows the back of the dress and wig.

Despite having a slew of interesting costumes over the years – including a completely homemade Eowyn one – I don’t do terribly well at costume contests when the participants vote, because those tend to become popularity contests and I’m not the most popular girl at the ball. However, this year I came home with the honor of being named “Crowd Favorite” and I even got a shiny trophy with a headless skeleton (which my mother promptly broke).

A friend of mine, happened to show up as King Richard the Lionheart (interestingly we keep accidentally coordinating, last year when I was Eowyn he was the father of Isildur), but unfortunately I didn’t get any good photos.

My favorite, which you can see a little of in the picture of the back of my dress, was Coronel Sanders and a bucket of chicken, who were made to go to center ice and “whip and nae-nae” (I thought they missed a chance – he should have done the chicken dance!)

You can go to the Ice Chalet’s facebook page for a truly absurd video of us on ice, including me dancing!

Embrace the #bossqueen lifestyle.

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When we think of the strongest, most powerful, most kick-butt women in history, eventually we start listing off queens: Elizabeth I, Isabella I, Catherine the Great, Rani Lakshmibai, what have you. No wonder so many of us comment “#QUEEN” under the Instagram posts of our fave ladies. Don’t we all look up to – and kind of want to be – women powerful enough to rule over men, conquer new lands, show potential suitors we mean business, and generally win at royal life? I’d say that’s a yes.

Marie Antoinette didn’t do any of that. Not really.

See, while Marie Antoinette was the legit Queen of France, she wasn’t as politically involved as Elizabeth, Isabella, or any of the other mentioned queens. She wasn’t a warrior monarch or a fierce figurehead. She was controversial and reviled by many. Yet she’s still my favorite queen of all time.

In the age of “#Girlboss” and “Lean In,” women have more career options and role models than ever, and that’s fantastic! But do all of us have to be CEOs, business moguls, or tech geniuses? What if some of us would prefer a more laid-back, artistic – even carefree – lifestyle? I say “do you,” and Marie Antoinette did as well, way back in the 1700s. (Even if it may have gotten her killed.)

Though she’s not your traditional queen, Marie Antoinette fully embraced her own approach to life – and that, I think, is worth appreciating. Below are six life lessons we can learn from her story.

Table of Contents

Lesson #1: Love Your Unique Style

Marie Antoinette didn’t wear outfits as extravagant as the one shown above on a regular basis – that was her wedding gown. Actually, her everyday gowns were usually simple and made of muslin, which was imaginably shocking to the French court. Luckily, la Reine de France knew just how she liked to look, and wasn’t afraid to show that she had a fashion sense all her own. In fact, her signature ginormous, white, wedding cake-like hairstyle, called the “pouf,” was created especially for her by her personal hairdresser, LГ©onard AutiГ©. (Seriously? Her very own hairdresser? This girl almost had it too good.)

Likewise, whether you like to wear necklaces and scarves at the same time, or love fedoras despite the fact that they’re usually worn by greasy “nice guys,” embrace whatever kinds of clothes make you feel good, no matter how others may try to influence you. Who knows? You may end up starting a trend, just like how Marie Antoinette’s sweet, feminine, pastel-hued frocks are still influential today.

Lesson #2: Treat Yo’ Self

How to create a marie antoinette costume

Mon amie, if you’ve never had a macaron before, then get thee to a bakery. These light, delicate, French sandwich cookies are quite trendy right now, but they’ve been around forever – so long, in fact, that they were known as one of Marie Antoinette’s favorite snacks. The queen was also fond of chocolate, insisting on starting each day with hot chocolate topped with whipped cream and an orange blossom. She even had her own personal chocolate-maker. (As if the hairdresser wasn’t enough!)

While these two indulgences – along with her creating lavish gardens around the palace Versailles, plus a village-like playground for her children called the Hamlet – caused people to label Marie Antoinette as frivolous and careless, she didn’t mind. She liked sweet treats and pretty gardens – political environments aside, what’s so wrong with that?

Take a cue from this queen’s killer confidence in her own interests and let others judge while you sip your pumpkin spice latte or binge watch your favorite anime. So what if it’s too common or too weird? They don’t have to like it, just you.

Lesson #3: Haters Gonna Hate

See the devilishly handsome rogue with the cocky eyebrow above? That’s Axel von Fersen the Younger, Swedish count and close friend of Marie Antoinette…and more, or so it was said by the citizens of France at the time.

You see, Marie Antoinette’s husband and the king of France, Louis XVI, was an awkward, slovenly dud. Therefore, it was suspicious to see the queen with a stud like Von Fersen. The rumors took off like a rocket, and not all of them involved the count.

Marie Antoinette was accused of having many affairs, not just with Von Fersen but with her many female friends, and of wasting French taxpayers’ money, earning her the cruel nickname, “Madame Deficit.” Now imagine if such a polarizing public figure had a Twitter – the trolls would be incessant!

But trolls gonna troll and haters gonna hate, so if anyone is spreading trash and lies about you, don’t sweat it. As you can see, the gossips are never the ones who make history; instead, it’s the ones they spread rumors about.

Lesson #4: Celebrate Your Fellow Women

The clad-in-black cutie with the intense stare is Marie-ThГ©rГЁse, oldest child and daughter of Marie Antoinette. While most of the French court wasn’t super pumped about the first royal child being a female, when her baby girl was born, Marie Antoinette was elated, telling the infant that she was “not desired, but you will be none the less dear to me!” The queen loved all of her children equally, but had a special place in her heart for her daughter.

There were also many fiercely loyal females within the queenly inner circle, including the Duchesse de Polignac and the Princesse de Lamballe. Safe to say, Marie Antoinette was a girl’s girl through and through, and proud of it. She definitely would’ve rolled her eyes at women who claimed to be “not like other girls” or “one of the guys.”

Men are nice and all, but relationships between women, whether they be through friendship or blood, are to be celebrated. Stick by your girls through thick and thin, and they’re sure to do the same for you.

A Royal Fashion Blog

How to create a marie antoinette costume

September 21st is the anniversary of the French Legislative Assembly abolishing the French Monarchy in 1792. To mark the occasion I would like to take a look at one of the few surviving gowns that Marie Antoinette wore herself. This particular gown was on display at the Royal Ontario Museum and is considered one of the first examples of French Haute Couture.

How to create a marie antoinette costume

The official description of the gown via the Royal Ontario Museum describes it as a “formal court dress comprise(d) a fitted bodice with attached train and matching petticoat of silk satin made in the fashionable style of the 1780s. It demonstrates the height of the 18th century professional embroiders’ art as seen in the lavish, artistic design which combines plant and flower, peacock and pheasant feather motifs on pale blue, pink and ivory satin appliquéd swags of ribbon and bows. Further embellished with spangles, glass stones, pleated metallic strips and two types of metallic thread made from thin metal coil wrapped over a silk core, this is one of the few dresses attributed to Marie-Antoinette and her dressmaker, Marie-Jeanne “Rose” Bertin, that survive; often identified as the first couturière, Rose Bertin was Marie-Antoinette’s favoured marchande de modes. The dress was acquired in 1925 by the Museum’s first director, Charles Trick Currelly from Mary Christie, a London antiques dealer.”

The structure of the dress is not in keeping with the style of the 18th century, particularly the hourglass figure of the corseted waist. That’s because this dress was modified by a second wearer during the Victorian era so the dress was considered updated by 19th century standards. However, the embroidery and beading on the dress is pretty much intact from how it was when the gown was first designed making it one of the more complete examples of a gown that Marie Antoinette wore herself. Here are some close-up pictures of the stunning embroidery detail of the dress that is believed to have been designed by Rose Bertin, who is an icon in traditional French Haute Couture fashion. The embroidery features a design of peacock feathers, flowers, and pheasant feather detailing. I can also see what looks like black sequins throughout the design but what is described as “glass stones” by the museum.

How to create a marie antoinette costume

I am surprised that the vibrant pink and blue thread and silk has kept its color so well.

I think it is absolutely stunning. Considering how old this gown is it is in remarkably good condition. It is easy to see why Marie Antoinette was considered one of the great fashion icons of her day. This isn’t just a dress, it is a true work of art.

How to create a marie antoinette costume

How to create a marie antoinette costume

How to create a marie antoinette costume

How to create a marie antoinette costume

How to create a marie antoinette costume

I am including a short video that explains how fashion historians and textile conservators preserved and restored this gown to put it on display at the Royal Ontario Museum. The video also gives a concise history of the gown and how it came to be at the museum. I can only imagine how thrilling it must be to hold a dress in your hands that you know Marie Antoinette wore herself and to stitch on the same fabric that Rose Bertin worked on more than 200 years ago. These historians must feel so in touch with the past when they work with an extraordinary artifact like this one. It’s like holding history in your hands.

I also like this fun video by Simone Smith who animatedly describes ten fun facts about Marie Antoinette’s hair. 🙂

And finally, here is a link to an article published today by BBC History Magazine giving a brief biography of Marie Antoinette’s life to mark this anniversary.

When told that the people were starving from lack of bread, the wife of French monarch Louis XVI, Marie Antoinette, is said to have replied, “Let them eat cake!” Historians now doubt that the Queen ever uttered these words, but there is no doubt that the excesses of the 18th century French Court helped spur the French Revolution. The Royal Family was imprisoned and tried for treason during the upheaval, and in October of 1793, Marie Antoinette was executed by guillotine.

A headless Marie Antoinette costume is almost certain to win “best costume” at any costume affair, but for most partygoers, the construction of such an outfit seems too complicated. A few items like Duct Tape, paper mache and a backpack can make an eerily realistic headless Marie Antoinette costume doable.

The key to building the costume is to create a headless torso that is worn atop the partygoer’s real head. To fashion the torso, put on a tight-fitting shirt, then apply strips of duct tape until the shirt is covered. Carefully cut your way out of the shirt. The duct tape form provides enough stiffness for the application of paper mache, which will secure the torso form. Stuff the form with newspaper. Insert a coffee can to hold the neck shape. Add gruesome touches to the top of the can.

Attach long gloves to the torso to fashion the arms. Stuff with batting or paper. Cut a slit in the front of the dress, just below the point where the bodice meets the skirt, to stick your head through. Cut discreet slits for your arms, too, so you can enjoy a party drink. Before putting on the backpack, insert a wooden dowel, about a yard long, into it and secure with more duct tape. The backpack provides a base for the torso to rest upon. The dowel helps keep the torso upright.

The Marie Antoinette costume itself can be crafted from thrift store finds look for secondhand wedding dresses or can be created using affordable lining fabric. The dress should be trimmed as elaborately as possible, as befits the doomed Queen. Her white-haired wig can be fashioned with white yarn.

Dress like a queen.

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How to create a marie antoinette costume

Sofia Coppola’s 2006 film Marie Antoinette portrays the rich life of one of France’s most famous queens. If you haven’t seen this movie, do so immediately! You’ll be captivated by the lavishness of Marie Antoinette’s royal lifestyle, including everything from eloquent banquets to breathtaking gowns with tiers and tiers of pastel fabrics.

There are many fashion motifs in Marie Antoinette, all of which trigger inspiration and awe. Below, we’ll review some of the most prominent elements of fashion within the movie, along with our modern interpretations.

Table of Contents

The Marie Antoinette Color Palette

The color palette of this movie is definitely in the pastel range. For neutrals, ivory is the most prominent, whereas other popular colors include baby blue, light pink, and mint green.

How to create a marie antoinette costume

Our Interpretation

Pastels are usually spring colors; however, for our interpretation, we incorporated a pastel piece with fall/winter staples, like boots, a scarf, and a beret, for a look you could wear right now. (Just add your favorite coat!)

How to create a marie antoinette costume

Volume and Proportion

The garments in this movie have a lot of volume. From men’s puffy sleeves to hoop-style skirts, bigger was definitely better during that era. Even their hair styles were full!

How to create a marie antoinette costume

Our Interpretation

We think the best way to pull off this look is to have one piece that has a lot of volume, like this ruffled midi skirt. Other options could include a blouse or jacket with voluminous sleeves or a fuller hairstyle for a change!

The rest of this outfit plays with proportion too. The bodysuit, kitten heel mules, and smaller handbag (which can be worn either as a crossbody or belt bag) help balance out the skirt.

How to create a marie antoinette costume

Embellishments and Details

Every outfit in the movie has such fine detail – the artistry and craftsmanship are very inspiring. One of the most noticeable elements in the movie is the use of embellishments, including lace and beading. It’s all very over-the-top and fabulous!

How to create a marie antoinette costume

Our Interpretation

Just like the last look, keep the embellishment focused to one garment; in this case, a showstopping lace dress that was made for a night out. Accompany it with more understated pieces, like sleek heels, tassel earrings and a smokey eye.

How to create a marie antoinette costume

Products: Dress – ModCloth, Shoes – Jessica Simpson, Earrings – Baublebar, Eyeshadow – L’Oreal

Floral Motifs

Florals are used everywhere in the movie and are reminiscent of the famous French royal gardens.

How to create a marie antoinette costume

Our Interpretation

For our version of the Marie Antoinette floral look, we juxtaposed the print with something more edgy for a contemporary twist.

We chose to pair a floral dress with booties and a white moto jacket. To keep the outfit fresh and modern, go with floral prints that have a larger, more abstract look. Smaller floral prints can sometimes look too much like something from a baby nursery.

How to create a marie antoinette costume

Products: Dress – Nordstrom, Jacket – Old Navy, Shoes – Nordstrom Rack, Necklace – TJMaxx

Your Thoughts?

Are you inspired by Marie Antoinette? Which of these elements do you like best? How would you interpret a traditional style like this one into a contemporary version for your everyday life? Tell us by leaving a comment!

Editor’s note: This post was originally published in 2009; it was completely updated and revamped in 2018 with new photos, outfit sets, and information.

10 thoughts on “Movie Fashion Inspiration: Marie Antoinette”

I heard the rumors that the movie was bad, too, and I thought it would be true. But I wanted to see it for the visual. And finally, I LOVED the entire movie. The costumes, the design, the story, the music, everything. I even cried at one part !

So for those who are hesitating because of what they’ve heard, please don’t care about the rumors and just watch it. It’s wonderful !

Wow, I love the skirt in the 2nd outfit, and the dress in the last outfit! Very cute!

I love this movie, this style, and this post! Its very feminine and so totally my thing. Thank you for the inspiration!

Marie Antoinette is one of my favorite movies and favorite historical figures of all time, but I think the fashion is this article is almost too modernized. If I saw someone in any of these outfits, I wouldn’t think of Marie A. unless they mentioned the connection. I have been very inspired by the movie again lately myself, and have designed and begun to make several articles of clothing that a more literal yet still modern take, based more on shapes and patterns of the 18th century gowns that colors.

Wonderful movie, though; every fashionista needs to see it if only just for the excellent “Shoes and Candy” scene…where the special shoes are all designed by Manolo Blahnik, I might add, all you hesitant girls!

love the last outfilt. i watched the movie just to see the clothes.LOL. anyway watchin that movie felt like there is no life in any of those people.all of them pastel dresses and all of them have pale complexion .They all would look in twilight.it need some color.maybe it just me but i always associate warm color with life and health & happiness .

These are so cute! Looks like some great inspiration for spring.

You always pick awesome movies, but I think you’ve been missing the mark since Annie Hall. A dress and boots seems kinda dull, no offense!

I heard the movie was bad, but I’m totally intrigued by the outfits. Maybe I’ll see it just for that 😉

Wonderful! I love the aesthetic of this movie, so much so that a wrote my own article about it a while back! Check it out:

To enter the University of Pittsburgh’s production of Marie Antoinette in the Cathedral of Learning’s Studio Theater is to be confronted. Actors dressed alternately as nobles or revolutionaries either welcome you to the party as you enter or congratulate you on being on the right side of history, respectively. Accompanying them are at least a half dozen maps and pieces of French art, all plastered by bright red text stylized as graffiti. “Make France Great Again,” reads one, but all pieces more or less emphasize that the tagger in question is not, in fact, With Her.

The Her in question is Marie Antoinette, the eponymous lead character in David Adjmi’s re-contextualization of history’s most extravagant It Girl. Few historical figures are quite as easily relegated to the role of cautionary morality tale as the former Queen of France, who spent an inordinate amount of money on pointless displays of excess while her ruled class, steeped in the dregs of poverty, plotted to behead her for it.

Adjmi’s script continues a conversation begun by Soffia Coppola’s film Marie Antoinette, which explored Antoinette’s human qualities through an art-punk lens. Adjmi takes quite literally an identical tactic by also mismatching royalty and punk, except where Coppola is an artist working in implication, Adjmi Jackson Pollock-s the stage with angry, metaphoric talking sheep, penis jokes, and a sharp, contemporary style of dialogue that fits somewhere in the gulf between Curb Your Enthusiasm realism as absurdism and the forceful manipulation of history of Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson.

It’s interesting, then, that Pitt’s production of Adjmi’s already escalated work is propelled by an even further need to escalate. First there is the costume design, which features so many colors. KJ Gilmer has given Antoinette a series of wigs in every color of the rainbow, and abandoned the doily-ed wardrobe of the era for a kaleidoscopic sense of fashion better fitting a Nicki Minaj concert than a ballroom dance. The original production of this show also featured wild statements of coloring book fashion, but in lieu of a mainstage budget Pitt’s production has instead opted for a wider, stranger variety of visual design which works wonders, especially in the play’s early goings.

The cast, as directed by Le’Mil Eiland, are primarily wealthy, hapless narcissists made brutal by the power of their indifference. The show feels in so many ways to be like a circus, or better yet, a sitcom from hell. The implication is that, for both King Louis the 16 th and Anotinette, life is a ridiculous joke. Alexis Primus plays Antoinette as a woman intellectually hardened by privilege; she has every material thing a person could want for, yet has so precious little to live for. Antoinette’s is a loveless life without purpose. Primus imbues Antoinette with an innate desperation for some missing, essential piece of humanity, and no scene ends without our acute awareness of her listless existence.

Adam Nie’s Louis the 16 th , meanwhile, is a perfect foil of spineless power and privilege. Nie is more classically comedic, and as such is a greater instigator of satire in performance. In a way, Louis is no less a victim of a fated heritage than Antoinette, but he’s also dramatically less equipped to confront himself. Very nearly all successful moments of levity are placed on Nie’s shoulders – that is, save for the surreal physical humor of Meg McGill, who appears as a sheep-human manifestation of Antoinette’s inner dialogue.

For both Antoinette and Louis, Leadership is an annoying obligation to be dismissed for other, better things, like receiving one-sided flatteries at a dinner party or indulging a new hobby. The play’s breezy enough first act does nothing if not cement this in our minds; the people can wait.

Except, no they can’t. By the play’s intermission, Antoinette’s inevitable trudge to the guillotine is well underway, as Louis and Antoinette are taken hostage by a series of furious rebels (Joe McHugh and Zach Fullerton). Orders are spit at our protagonist in the staccato rhythm of a Taken-era Liam Neeson interrogation scene. It’s here that the production’s erratic sense of tension is at its greatest imbalance. Generally, Eiland explodes whatever tension is present in a given conflict, meaning the cast is frequently intense in their hostilities towards one another. It all feels somewhat in character given the contemporary absurdism of the play’s first act, but once we’re able to find so little to contrast as far as volume between conflicts that happen in relative comfort versus conflicts that happen under extreme duress, Marie Antoinette starts to feel too exhausting. The fact that we spend so much time during the final act with so little for Antoinette to do other than succumb to despair deeply compounds the problem.

Regardless, the final act sees Marie Antoinette embrace the surreal. Several clever uses of stage design, especially one sequence that utilizes the presence of the audience to great effect, are some of the production’s brightest highlights. Pitt’s latest is no salve to soothe the pain apparent in your latest Twitter thread, but it is at least a comforting reminder that privilege is ultimately not impenetrable.

Marie Antoinette runs at the University of Pittsburgh through February 25. For tickets and more information, click here.

How to create a marie antoinette costume

Fashion is everything. It gives the wearer confidence; it reflects cultural and political issues; and it makes a visible statement. In the 18 th century this was exactly what fashion stood for, especially for the elite. Both genders, male and female, wore elaborate fashion, but a woman’s attire always seemed to attract most of the attention. At this time there were two main styles known as the English style and the French style. Within these two styles were four main silhouettes, the narrow bustle of the late 17th-century, the flowing sacque of the first part of the eighteenth century, the English-inspired shapes of the later part of the century and the tubular gown of the end of the century (Ettesvold, 9). The bustle shape of the late seventeenth century reappears with the English styled gowns; these gowns were also referred to as robe à l’anglaise. These specific looks had the extended bustle down the back of the shorten skirt exposing the feet and ankles and a lower neckline also exposing the breast. The sacque dress had several pleats from the back of the neck that flowed to the feet in a graceful train. The skirt was roundly shaped by metal hoops covered with cloth. The sacque silhouette became so popular that it was also called the French dress or robe à la francaise. Court dress exaggerated the silhouette of the sacque; the form created a defined waist, fitted sleeves ending at the elbow extended with tiers of ruffles, scattering bows and an extreme egg-shaped hooped skirt as seen in the print from the Monument du Costume, La Dame du Palais

How to create a marie antoinette costume

de la Reine, (Fig. 1) featuring a noble lady-in-waiting. (Ettesvold, 9). An informal silhouette, called robe à la polonaise, had also imitated the sacque. The robe à la polonaise differed from the sacque with it overcoat and uniquely styled skirt pulled up with pulleys that brought up the hem on two sides, exposing the feet and ankles as shown in another print from the Monument du Costume, Le départ pour Marly (Fig. 2) ; such newly styled skirts reflected the political status at the time. New fashions were being worn more often. An English inspired fashion, frequently worn by Queen Marie Antoinette of France, was the sporty look of the redingote front, inspired by the equestrian fashion of the “riding coat.” Marie Antoinette was known for wearing many of the new ground breaking fashions. One her more favored silhouettes were the “Gaulle” dress or chemise; a more free flowing silhouette. Each one of these dresses were made of expensive fabrics such as silk, velvet, and very rarely cotton. It took hard work and dedication to create such gowns and masterpieces.

How to create a marie antoinette costume

During the 18 th century, tailors created dresses for every aspect of a woman’s day; there was a different gown for sleeping, eating, dancing, walking, riding and lounging. Every dress incorporated what was known as the basics: cuffs, necklines and hoops. How did a woman dress in the eighteenth century? First she would pull on a linen chemise, then would come the corset and finally the dress in one piece. Later in the century the overdress and petticoat came into style. Each dress had some kind of accessory ; the most common designs used materials such as ribbon, lace, trimming, silk, metallic gauze, feathers, sequins and embroidery . All accessories, such as bows, trimmings, and lace ruffles, were separate pieces from the dress and were mixed and matched to one’s liking. In the portrait (Fig. 3), Queen Marie Antoinette is posing wearing a robe à la francaise of very expensive and high quality fabrics. Marie Antoinette’s court dress is detailed with gold fringes, gold tassels, both fabric and ribbon bows, and lace ruffles down her sleeves and mid corset. Embroidery or printing was usually applied after the creation of the fabric; they were woven, embroidered, or painted onto the the fabric. The print Les Adieux from Monument du Costume (Fig. 4) exemplifies the textiles found on a noble woman’s gown in the 18 th century. Along the bottom and inner sides of the woman’s gown is a floral pattering which was popular. Choosing a comfortable style of gown was difficult at this time but choosing the right fabric and decorations to attract every eye in a room was the easy part. 18 th century fashion was more than just clothes to wear, it was the beginning of a fashion as we know it today.

How to create a marie antoinette costume

Bibliography

Ettesvold, Paul M. The Eighteenth-century Woman: An Exhibition at the Costume Institute, December 12, 1981-September 5, 1982. New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1981. Print.

Le Jeune, Jean-Michel Moreau. 1789. Prints. Monument Du Costume.

Sadako, Takeda Sharon. Fashioning Fashion: European Dress in Detail, 1700 – 1915. Prestel USA, 2010. Print.

Vigee-LeBrun, Elisabeth Louise. Portrait of Marie Antoinette. 1778-1779. Painting.

3 Responses to Dress Styles

Your first paragraph is fantastic! It really captured my attention and emphasized the importance of fashion in the 18th century; I hadn’t thought about it as that important before, just that everyone needed to look fancy.

“Both genders, male and female, wore elaborate fashion, but a woman’s attire always seemed to attract most of the attention.” I agree!! My topic involved male fashion and most of the time I would just see pages on pages of dresses! This was very interesting to read – aren’t we glad that nowadays, not only can we be fashion-forward, but comfortable as well?

Your description of dress styles made me realize how much it was like putting on one’s personality every day. Without a dress, the woman would be physically naked to others and mentally naked to herself. Every day you can choose who you want to be and who you want the world to see you be. I certainly agree with your observations of fashion as everything because my topic of lace was the trim on the defining feature of a person in the 18th century.

Flowered “Church” Dress

Reference Images

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More screencaps from http://kirstendunstfan.com/:

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Costume Analysis

This gown is worn for dinner and Mass.

kuusikuu made a really cool observation about the fabric on this dress! She says:

“Dangerous Liaisons and Valmont are two of my favourite costume films. They’re both based on the same novel and released in 1989, though Dangerous Liaisons got most of the media attention at that time. A while ago I noted that they used the same fabric for Cecile de Volanges’ dresses in both films. The first two caps are from Valmont:

. the next two from Dangerous Liaisons:

Now the same silk has surfaced again – in the Marie Antoinette film!

So, unless they used an old costume (possibly remodeled the dress from Dangerous), the strawberry fabric would still be available somewhere! Then, I found this: http://www.durantextiles.com/bildspel/pages/58.htm It’s the same silk again, this time featured on the website of Duran Textiles, a Swedish company that manufactures 18th century reproduction fabrics. I emailed the lady at Duran and asked about it. She was kind enough to tell me that the silk is made by Rubelli in Venice and the design is called “Fragole”. The stays and the dress in the picture were made to order for the Rubelli showroom in Milan.

I couldn’t find the fabric on the Rubelli website but instead, I found this in the news section: http://www.rubelli.com/INTERnet/sito_v4/pagina.php?cod=news_2005_longhi http://www.rubelli.com/INTERnet/documenti/immagini_maxi/news_2005_longhi_1.jpg The closeup reveals that the fabric is embroidered, not printed as I initially thought. Edit: as heileen pointed out, it’s probably brocade, not embroidered.

Several retailers for Rubelli collections are listed on the website, though a quick search didn’t give any online sources. Well, there was one Russian site that gave the fabric width = 135 cm and price: 362 euros a meter! ! Rubelli fabrics are available here in Helsinki at some shops that supply interior textiles, maybe I’ll go and see if they have a sample of the strawberry silk.

Phil wrote in to say:

I went to Venice last week and I was curious to see the Rubelli shop. I went and saw this famous “Fragole” strawberries (used for MA, Dangerous liaisons and Valmont). They were very kind and provided me with a lot of informations and stuff, but they didn’t have a sample of this particular fabric, the price seems to be “a little cheaper” than your other source: 252 euros per metre.

You can get this fabric on ebay, but it is still really expensive. The ebay stuff is pink and green too, not pink and blue. There are pics of it here.

And more on the fabric from this article.

For the costumes for Marie Antoinette Milena Canonero used many sketches from the period and designed the wardrobe for the entire court. For the young Austrian queen she chose Fragole, a silk liserЋ from the extensive Rubelli production range, designed by the Venice company more than twenty years ago and already an Oscar winner in 1988 with the film Dangerous Liaisons.

The fabric takes its inspiration from eighteenth-century embroidery that originally decorated a waistcoat currently housed in the Musei Civici Veneziani in Venice. A typical design for clothing of the second half of the eighteenth century, Rubelli reinterpreted it using a complex construction known as ТliserЋУ which involves the use of two warps, one for the decoration and the other for the ground.

Just like for the character of CЋcile de Volanges, played by a very young Uma Thurman in Dangerous Liaisons, for Queen Marie Antoinette, played by Kirsten Dunst, the Fragole fabric was used to make the andrienne, a typical eighteenth-century dress that was very fashionable in the most important courts of Europe.

I made this dress! Melly made a version of this fabric for Spoonflower and that is what I used! I’m really happy with it! Here is how I made it.

How to create a marie antoinette costume

Of all the Victorian era events I have attended, dancing the night away to a live brass band at a Victorian ball is my favorite! Dancing among elegant ladies’ Victorian ball gowns and gentlemen’s tailcoats is heaven to me. It is how I got started in historical costuming in the first place. After attending my first Victorian dance, I spent the next 2 months sewing a new Victorian ballgown to wear. I went to the fabric store, picked out a ballgown pattern, fabric, and trim, and dusted off my sewing machine. It was beautiful! It was unique! It was 18th century! — And as it turns out, I didn’t know my history and chose an 18th century (Marie Antoinette / Outlander era) pattern instead of a 1840s to 1901 Victorian ball gown. Big oops!

Luckily, no one called me out on it at that dance, but it did encourage me to go back to the sewing table and make a Victorian ball gown. However, I don’t like to sew if I don’t have to. Could I make a Victorian, Southern Belle, or Civil War ball gown without sewing? Could I adjust a dress I bought at the thrift store into a fancy ball gown? The answer is YES! Very easily, too.

DIY Victorian Ball Gown – The Dress

The trick with any DIY costume is finding the right thrift store dress to use as your base. In my DIY Victorian day dress guide, I suggesting pairing a full skirt with a blouse for a simple no sewing costume. You could do the same for an evening look, but mismatched tops and bottoms were not common with ball gowns. For a Victorian formal gown, look for a thrift store dress in the following:

  • Strapless or off the shoulder. Short puff or long sleeves are ok too.
  • Fitted in the waist.
  • Full skirt (as big as you can find to fit over a hoop or large petticoat).
  • Solid color (jewel tones and pastels are best).
  • Has lace, lace, and more lace. Old Wedding gowns are great. Taffeta, velvet, cotton, damask, silk, and satin are good too. Avoid tulle/net and metallics.
  • 1980s prom dresses.
  • A plain repro/inspired Victorian dress (just needs trim).
  • A cheap Southern Belle Halloween costume – these can be good as is or redecorated into something unique to you.

How to create a marie antoinette costume

A short teal 80s prom dress over a blue circle skirt. Voila! Victorian ball gown

My recent trip to the thrift store left me with few dress choices (it was Halloween and all the good dresses were gone). However, I managed to find a black velvet dress, satin ’90s prom dress, and a red peasant dress. I chose each one because of the full skirt and low or no straps. I also had an 80s prom dress in my closet just waiting for this day. The only issue with it is it had sleeves (most ballgowns don’t) and it was too short (knee length instead of floor length). Even with these faults, it was still usable.

For the basic Victorian ball gown above, I layered the 80s prom dress over another Victorian skirt I already had. You could use any full skirt you can find at the thrift store. You could also find another ball gown or wedding dress with the wrong style of top and just cut off the skirt. A white Victorian petticoat would be fine too. And if all else fails, sew a simple skirt. Don’t worry about matching colors. The best Victorian dresses I have seen have had wild color pairings. Teal and blue? Orange and purple? Red and yellow? You would be surprised at what looks great together.

A hoop skirt or petticoat adds volume that is critical to the Victorian silhouette. The biggest hoop was worn during the Civil War times while the end of the Victorian era had slimmed down to an A-line with only one or two light petticoats underneath. Old wedding dresses often come with a hoop or crinoline to create volume. I bought a cheap hoop on Amazon for these pictures. It is 120 inches wide, which is huge. Some of my dresses/skirts did not fit over it, so I narrowed the hoop by cutting the boning and taped in back together smaller. It is still too long for my 5’3 height, so in the future I will need to take a hoop out completely.

How to create a marie antoinette costume

While the DIY ball gown above is fine as is, it lacks the fussiness that authentic Victorian ball gowns had. Lace trim, big sashes and bows, and flowers (real or fake) were common details added to Victorian ball gowns. I looked through some old pictures and illustrations and then raided my stash of trim to see what I had to work with. Here are some options I came up with:

As you can see above, a little trim can take a plain dress from simple to elegant. A wide, long satin ribbon (blanket binding works too) can become a belt, sash, or big bow around the waist. A scrap piece of wide lace trim can be gathered and pinned to the inside of sleeves or along the neckline. I even found a lace window curtain that, when wrapped around the bodice like a shawl, transformed the dress into a romantic Victorian gown. Another option is to tie a light lace shawl around the neck or shoulders.

Besides the bodice, you can decorate the skirt like these:

Adding ribbon to hang down the skirt with flowers to add weight was an idea I borrowed from a Victorian fashion plate. If you want to sew or use a glue gun, you can create a hemline border on the underskirt with ribbon, ruffles, or lace. For the overskirt, try gathering it up in swags – one, two, three, or all around. Accent with flowers or bows and you have yourself another easy ball gown.

There are many possibilities, and none of them require sewing — just a box of safety pins.

More DIY Victorian Ball Gowns

All of the above is a variation on one dress, but what about the other dresses I thrifted? Well, this black velvet gown was good as is, but I added a lace belt in one picture and lace window curtain around the neckline in another. Both are simple and effective.

The red peasant dress worked best when layered over the black velvet dress. I gathered the skirt on both sides and added a wide black beaded belt that is the same shape as a Victorian Medici belt. In the second picture, I added a short velvet jacket (a bolero jacket would be better) to show you that you don’t have to have bare arms to go to a Victorian ball. This day to night look reminds me of a saloon girl or Spanish señorita.

Finally, I had one more ball gown. I turned a newer satin prom dress into a Victorian inspired ball gown. I loved the floral embroidery on the dres,s so I found a pink scarf to match and used that as the bodice neckline. In the second picture, I used a stretchy piece of scrap lace as the neckline. The original dress had a partial layered skirt that I wasn’t too wild about, so I gathered it to the side and placed some flowers cascading down the gathers. Now that I think about it, I could have left the skirt down and ran the flowers along the edge. That would have looked fabulous as well. Play, play, play until you find a look you love!

How to create a marie antoinette costume

Complete your thrifty Civil War ball gown with Victorian jewelry, gloves, stockings, shoes, and a hairstyle or wig.

Have you made a thrifty Victorian ballgown? Share your tips in the comments below.

How to create a marie antoinette costume

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Costume porté par Kirsten Dunst dans le film Marie-Antoinette (2006).

Réalisation par le chef tailleur Gabriele Pacchia Mayer. Collection Alessandra Cinti, Sartoria The One, Rome.

Exposition Marie-Antoinette, métamorphoses d’une image, à la Conciergerie.

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Costumes play a major role in historical movies. Not only do they show a glimpse of the past, but they help movie watchers feel transported back to the time the movie is portraying. Here, we look at some costumes from major historical films and compare them to their real-life counterparts.

1. Hamilton versus Alexander Hamilton

How to create a marie antoinette costume

(Photo Credit: Theo Wargo/ Getty Images and GraphicaArtis/ Getty Images)

Here, Lin-Manuel Miranda (left) plays Alexander Hamilton in his hit Broadway musical-turned-movie Hamilton. The musical is based on the life of Alexander Hamilton, who was a founding father of the United States and the founder of the nation’s financial system. The costumes worn in the musical are largely based on styles from the late eighteenth century.

2. Pride And Prejudice versus The Georgian Era

How to create a marie antoinette costume

(Photo Credit: Universal Studios/ Focus Features/ MovieStills DB and The Metropolitan Museum of Art)

This is Elizabeth (Kiera Knightly) in the evening gown she wore when she danced with Mr. Darcy. Pride and Prejudice was set in the Georgian Era (1714-1830), and women during that time would often wear long gowns similar to the one on the right, made in 1797.

3. Little Women versus Civil War Era

How to create a marie antoinette costume

(Photo Credit: Sony Pictures/ Columbia Pictures/ MovieStills DB and The Metropolitan Museum of Art)

Little Women (2019) took home the Oscar for the best costume design and it’s easy to see why. The film required nearly 75 period costumes, each of which took almost 40 hours to make. Pictured here is Amy (played by Florence Pugh) in a casual dress compared to an actual walking dress from 1865.

4. Elizabeth versus Elizabeth I

How to create a marie antoinette costume

(Photo Credit: Universal Studios/ MovieStills DB and Robert Alexander/ Getty Images)

The portrait “The Coronation of Elizabeth” was used as inspiration for the coronation scene in Elizabeth (1998). On the left is the coronation scene in the movie compared to the painting that the costume was based on. The movie was nominated for Best Costume Design at the 1999 Academy Awards and won for best makeup.

5. Memoirs of a Geisha versus real Geishas

How to create a marie antoinette costume

(Photo Credit: Sony Pictures/ Columbia Pictures/ Dreamworks Pictures/ MovieStills DB and Jim Heimann Collection/ Getty Images)

Memoirs of a Geisha (2005) follows the story of Chiyo Sakamoto (Ziyi Zhang) over the span of about 30 years in Japan. The film examines the sacrifices and lives of geishas before the Second World War and the challenges they faced in the aftermath of the war. On the left is Ziyi Zhang in Memoirs of a Geisha compared to a real geisha from Japan prior to the Second World War.

6. The Great Gatsby versus Flapper Fashion

How to create a marie antoinette costume

(Photo Credit: Warner Brothers/ MovieStills DB and Underwood Archives/ Getty Images)

The Great Gatsby (2013) features a number of stunning period costumes from the 1920s, truly highlighting flapper fashion. In fact, the movie took home the Oscar for Best Costume Design at the 2014 Academy Awards. Here, Daisy Buchanan (played by Carey Mulligan) wears a headpiece commonly known as a “gypsy cap.” On the right is a young woman from 1929 also wearing a similar headdress.

7. Mary Queen of Scots versus the real Mary, Queen of Scots

How to create a marie antoinette costume

Photo Credit: Focus Features/ MovieStills DB and Print Collector/ Getty Images)

Mary Queen of Scots (2018) followed the relationship between cousins Mary, Queen of Scots (played by Saoirse Ronan) and her cousin Queen Elizabeth I (played by Margot Robbie). The costume design for this movie had to reflect the fashion at the time in both England and Scotland. Pictured left is Saoirse Ronan as Mary Queen of Scots compared to the actual queen on the right.

8. Marie Antoinette versus the real Marie Antoinette

How to create a marie antoinette costume

(Photo Credit: Sony Pictures/ MovieStills DB and GraphicaArtis/ Getty Images)

Marie Antoinette (2006) is a historical drama that focuses on the life of the real Marie Antoinette. There were about 70 different historical costume pieces created for Kirsten Dunst, who played Marie Antoinette in the film. Although some liberties were taken with the colors of the dresses, the cut of all the clothes was historically accurate. Here, Kirsten Dunst wears a blue dress similar to the one worn by the actual Marie Antoinette in 1783.

9. Mad Men versus early 1960s fashion

How to create a marie antoinette costume

(Photo Credit: MovieStills DB/ Chaloner Woods/ Stringer/ Getty Images)

Mad Men was a television show set in the 1960s to 1970s, meaning the costume designers had to constantly be creating new pieces to keep up with actual fashion trends from that time period. On the left is Betty Draper (played by January Jones) in a typical dress worn by housewives in the 1960s, compared to an actual dress from 1959 on the right.

10. Anna Karenina versus the Russian Imperial Court

How to create a marie antoinette costume

(Photo Credit: Focus Features/ MovieStills DB and The State Hermitage Museum)

Anna Karenina (2012) follows the life of Russian aristocrat and socialite Anna Karenina in the 1870s. Here, Anna Karenina (played by Kiera Knightly) catches the eye of Count Alexei Vronsky (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) at a ball. Beside it is a style of dress that would be common at imperial balls in the late-nineteenth century. This particular dress was worn by Empress Maria Feodorovna in the 1890s.

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  1. определенные географические регионы, такие как Иран, Крым, Куба, Северная Корея, Сирия, Россия, Беларусь, Донецкая Народная Республика («ДНР»), Луганская Народная Республика («ЛНР»), а также любые физические или юридические лица, ведущие деятельность или находящиеся на этих территориях;
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  3. граждане Кубы независимо от их местоположения, не имеющие гражданства или вида на жительство за пределами Кубы; и
  4. изделия, из Ирана, Крыма, Кубы и Северной Кореи, за исключением информационных материалов, таких как публикации, фильмы, постеры, грампластинки, фотографии, кассеты, компакт-диски и определенные произведения искусства.
  5. Любые товары, услуги и технологические решения из ЛНР и ДНР за исключением информационных материалов и сельскохозяйственной продукции, в том числе продуктов питания для людей, семян сельскохозяйственных культур или удобрений.
  6. Импорт в США следующей продукции российского происхождения: рыба, морепродукты, алмазы непромышленного назначения и любая другая продукция, согласно периодическим указаниям министра торговли США.
  7. Экспорт из США либо гражданами США предметов роскоши и любых других товаров, согласно указаниям министра торговли США, любому лицу, находящемуся в России или Беларуси. Список и определение «предметов роскоши» приведены в «Дополнение № 5 к Разделу 746», опубликованном Федеральным реестром США.
  8. Изделия, изготовленные за пределами США и попадающие под действие Закона о тарифах США и связанных с ним законов о запрещении принудительного труда.

Для защиты нашего сообщества и торговой площадки Etsy предпринимает меры для соблюдения режимов санкций. Например, Etsy запрещает участникам пользоваться своими аккаунтами в определенных географических регионах. Если у нас есть основания полагать, что вы управляете своей аккаунтом из места, находящегося под санкциями, например, любого из перечисленных выше санкционных мест, или иным образом нарушаете какие-либо экономические санкции или торговые ограничения, мы можем приостановить или прекратить использование вами наших Сервисов. Как правило, участникам не разрешается выставлять на продажу, покупать или продавать изделия из регионов, находящихся под санкциями. Сюда входят изделия, появившиеся ранее санкций, поскольку у нас нет возможности проверить, были ли они вывезены из запрещенного места. Etsy оставляет за собой право обращаться к продавцам с запросом предоставить дополнительную информацию, раскрыть страну происхождения изделия на странице товара или предпринять другие шаги для соблюдения обязательств. Мы можем отключить товары или отменить транзакции, представляющие опасность нарушения этой политики.

Кроме соблюдения требований OFAC и применимых местных законов, участникам Etsy следует иметь в виду, что другие страны могут вводить собственные торговые ограничения и что определенные изделия могут не допускаться к экспорту или импорту согласно международным законам. Когда в транзакции участвуют лица из разных стран, вам следует изучить законы любых соответствующих стран.

Наконец, участникам Etsy следует иметь в виду, что сторонние платежные системы, например PayPal, могут самостоятельно отслеживать транзакции на предмет соблюдения санкционных требований и могут блокировать транзакции в рамках собственных программ, обеспечивающих соблюдение требований. Etsy не имеет власти или контроля над процедурами независимого принятия решения в таких системах.

Экономические санкции и торговые ограничения могут применяться к порядку использования вами Сервисов и могут изменяться, поэтому участникам следует регулярно проверять источники информации о санкциях. За юридической консультацией обращайтесь к квалифицированному специалисту.

Вы можете прочитать эту политику на вашем языке, но помните, что версия этого документа на английском имеет преимущественную силу в отношении использования вами сервисов Etsy. Язык можно изменить в настройках аккаунта.

The grand masked ball 2020 is postpone to June 2021. SAVE THE DATE: Saturday June 19, 2021! The Versailles masquerade Ball . Unforgettable. Unimaginable. Unmissable. If you needed one more reason to come to Paris, look no further. Get ready for the French Versailles festival 2021. Be it with a partner, friends, family or employees, make this extraordinary event, a moment to remember.
Now in its 10th year, for one night only L’Orangerie du Château de Versailles spectacularly recreates with its elegance, whimsicality and pure drama, the greatest parties of Louis XIV with this majestic masquerade ball.

Become a courtier or feel like Queen Marie Antoinette at the French masquerade ball, as you join revelary for a once in a lifetime opportunity to party like royalty during an evening of decadence choreographed by King of Dance himself Hakim Ghorab!

There are only 10 EXTRAVAGANT VIP tickets left for this event! This event was fully booked 6 months in advance last year.

Versailles Masked ball
BOOK NOW

With our effortless booking system
2 400€/pers

The Grand Masquerade Ball at Château de Versailles

Paris to Versailles Private Tours is proposing to make this experience sublime with an exclusive private package which will truly make you will like a King or Queen for the night. In true Versailles style, all participants are required to wear full baroque costume of the highest quality. And masks are obligatory. So why not let us take care of all that and with our Versailles Ball Service, transport you back to a time of honor, passion and decadence.

With this visit we aim at recreating, in exquisite detail, the royal experience of Marie-Antoinette, in preparation for those great festivities. As the afternoon draws to a close, our team of beauty specialists who, just like those who served the queen, will be dedicated to making you the Belle of the ball. From your costume, hair and make-up, be amazed as we transform you from your 21th Century selves into 18th Century courtiers who might have rubbed shoulders with Louis XV himself.

Once you are all dressed and ready to go, you will be taken to Versailles from your hotel in one of our luxurious vehicles. your guide (also in costume) will lead you into the gardens for a stroll through the bosquet, regaling you with the history of Versailles and the grand parties. Prepare to be amazed by the light show and artistic installations which have made the Musical Garden show so famous. As the night draws in you will be lead to the Great Perspective to revel in the fabulous firework’s display.

As the final sparks fade into the night, that’s when the real party begins. With your VIP ticket in hand, head to the VIP enclosure, and take your seat at the exclusive and much sought-after table we have reserved especially for you. There you will have access to unlimited refreshment and champagne, bringing to life the parties of Versailles, legendary for their decadence. From your prime location in the VIP zone, marvel at the dramatic entertainments every half an hour, showcasing the spectacular choreography from some of the world’s most renowned choreographers, invited just for one night to Versailles. Dance the night away to the modern flair of a top-notch DJ, whose beats will keep you partying from dusk till dawn. with When you have finished with the night, your guide will take you back to your hotel.

Our VIP EXTRAVAGANT package for the French Mascarade ball includes:

PREPARATION & COSTUMES
Once you book, we will discuss together in order to prepare your experience. After filling out our questionnaire, we will propose you several options of costumes to fit your preferences. You will need to be in Paris one day before the Grand Masked Ball for your costume fitting, as our couturiere will need to see you that morning to have time to make the final retouches and ensure your costume fits perfectly to your body.
MAKE-UP and HAIRDRESSER ARTIST
Feel like a Queen. Like Marie Antoinette did, spend your afternoon to prepare yourself with our make-up/hairdresser specialised in the 17th/18th century. You will be ready around 7pm. Depending on your choice of style and accessory preferences, we will propose you to wear a baroque wig or to style your hair as they did in the 18th century. Of course in accordance with your costume.
VIP EXTRAVAGANT TICKETS WITH CHAMPAGNE & BUFFET
We reserve a table (in front of the show) as part of the VIP EXTRAVAGANT package which includes unlimited glasses of champagne and gourmet buffet.
SPECIALIZED GUIDES from 8pm to 11pm
All our guides are professional accredited, english speaking guides, passionate about & specializing in the castle of Versailles. During the festivities, your guide will be with you regaling you with stories of the renowned Great Balls of the 17th-18th century.
It is pretty impressive to leave for the Masked ball. Our guide will pick you up at your hotel in your chamber and she/he will stay with you until 11am inside Versailles. Once the party really starts, our expert guide leaves except if you choose an option to keep him.
TRANSPORTATION SERVICE with CHAMPAGNE
We pick you up at your hotel to ride to Versailles with one of our luxury Mini Van Mercedes. Of course champagne is on board to relax and decrease the pressure! We agree in advance on a schedule to pick you after the party. Usually around 4am, but it can be later on request.
DIRECT ACCESS to the party ball without queueing.
Save time! Skip the line with priority access to the Light Show and the ball in the Orangerie.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION: All the costumes ball are sourced from professionals and require a deposit 1000€ minimum per costume.

An Extension of Clothing

How to create a marie antoinette costume

Figure 1: Chinese made fan, 1700-1730.

Fans, or éventail, were a necessary accessory in 18 th century France. They were invented in China between 2700-2250 BCE. (See Figure 1.) They appeared in France in the 14 th century, but remained mostly unused until Louis XIV’s reign in the 17 th century. They had intricate patterns and scenes depicted on them. In the late 18 th century, when Marie Antoinette began to simplify her dress, fans also became less ornate.

How to create a marie antoinette costume

Figure 2: Fans as the extension of clothing

Fans were not allowed to be open in the presence of a sovereign, unless making a formal presentation. Fans were carried in the hand and became a necessary accessory and an extension of the dress. They were used more for fashion than for comfort. Fans can be seen in Jean-Michel Moreau engravings, “Monument du Costume”. In La Dame du Palais de la Reine, a woman has a folding fan that is similarly patterned like her dress. (See Figure 2.) This fan is being used as an accessory and complements the dress. The fan is not used as a device to remain cool.

How to create a marie antoinette costume

Figure 3: Fan Maker Plate I, Encyclopédie

How to create a marie antoinette costume

Figure 4: Plate IV Fan Maker, Assembly of Fans

In France, fan making was a women’s trade. In Figure 3, there is a small workshop where the workers have different tasks. These workshops were not large because fans were often imported from China. To make a folding fan, fabric would be put on a frame and decorated. The fabric was pressed to create the desired fold. Then it would be cut on one end and placed onto 16-22 fan sticks. After placed on the fan sticks, the fabric would be cut on the opposite end to ensure the fan had the correct shape. (See Figure 4.)

There are many types of hand fans. During the 18 th century, the most popular varieties included folding fans, brisé fans, lorgnette fans, and peeping fans.

How to create a marie antoinette costume

Figure 5: Folding Fan, 1750-1760, French made

Folding fans were very popular in France among nobility. They consisted of fan sticks made of ivory or mother-of-pearl that were attached to a painted fabric. Vellum and taffeta were commonly used on these fans. Romantic, mythological, and historical scenes were painted in watercolor. (See Figure 5.)

How to create a marie antoinette costume

Figure 6: Brisé Fan, 1775-1800, French made

Brisé fans were originally seen in Europe in 17 th century Italy. Many fans of this style were imported from China . They were popular in 18 th century France. Unlike the folding fan, there is no leaf on them; they are composed entirely of fan sticks held together by a ribbon. Brisé fan sticks were made of tortoiseshell or mother-of-pearl and can either be painted or carved to create a pattern. (See Figure 6.)

How to create a marie antoinette costume

Figure 7: Lorgnette Fan, 1760-1780, French made

Lorgnette fans were created circa 1759, and were used at the theater. They had small lenses in the hinges to allow the holder to watch others discreetly. Similarly, peeping fans were often used in the theater. Instead of having lenses in the hinges, they had transparent windows. (See Figure 7.)

Different styles of fans were used in different situations. But whatever the situation, they were always a necessary part of an ensemble. Fans are still produced today, but aren’t as commonly used as an accessory.

Bibliography

Delpierre, Madeleine. Dress in France in the Eighteenth Century. Paris, France: Yale University Press

The Encyclopedia of Diderot & d’Alembert Collaborative Translation Project, FAN MAKER, Plates I and II and III AND IV, vol. 4 (1765). 31 Oct. 2012. .

“European Fans.” The Fitzwilliam Museum. University of Cambridge, n.d. Web. 31 Oct. 2012. .

“Fan.” Victoria and Albert Museum. Web. 31 Oct. 2012. .

Takeda, Sharon Sadako. Fashioning Fashion: European Dress in Detail, 1700-1915. Los Angeles, CA. Prestel USA

Figure 1: Fan. Photograph. Victoria and Albert Museum, London. Web. 2 Nov. 2012. .

Figure 2: Moreau, Jean-Michel. La Dame Du Palais De La Reine . 1789. Engraving. Monument Du Costume.

Figure 3: The Encyclopedia of Diderot & d’Alembert Collaborative Translation Project, FAN MAKER, Plate I, vol. 4 (1765). 4 Nov. 2012. .

Figure 4: The Encyclopedia of Diderot & d’Alembert Collaborative Translation Project, FAN MAKER, Plate IV, vol. 4 (1765). 31 Oct. 2012. .

Figure 5: Fan. Photograph. Victoria and Albert Museum, London. Web. 31 Oct. 2012.

Figure 6: Fan. Photograph. Victoria and Albert Museum, London. Web. 31 Oct. 2012. .

Figure 7: Lorgnette Fan . Photograph. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Web. 1 Nov. 2012. .

Alley Singer

3 Responses to Fans

I didn’t know that fans were around in France since in the 14th century, but weren’t popularized until the 18th century. Could the ‘Sun King’ have influenced the fashion of fans as an advocate of oriental goods? It’s also interesting to note how fan-making was a women-only profession which makes me wonder why men never took it up if fans became a hot commodity back then. Maybe it was because fans have been, and still are, a feminine accessory? I wonder how came up with that rule about not being able to open a fan in front of a sovereign. I also like how you included all the different types of fans and how some fans like the lorgnette and peeping fans have lenses or windows through which ladies could spy on others. It really says something about the nosiness of people at the time.