A Biography: Learn About Marie Antoinette, Queen Of France Through Her Style
The Queen of Fashion Biography explores the life and style of Marie Antoinette, a queen of France during one of the most turbulent periods in history.
This story goes beyond Marie’s famously uninterested attitude toward her people and into how she used fashion to make her mark on society.
It is advised that you listen to the audio version of this biography for a true experience.
You will learn about royal hairdos and haute couture and their correlation to the revolution that changed France forever.
Get comfortable, unwind, and come along as we explore an interesting side to Marie Antoinette, Queen of Fashion!
When Marie Antoinette Left Austria For France, She Was Transformed From An Austrian Princess To A French One
Chapter 1 of Queen of Fashion starts by introducing Marie Antoinette’s privileged childhood.
Born on November 2, 1755 in Vienna, she was the daughter of Holy Roman Emperor Francis I and Empress Maria Theresa.
As the youngest daughter and an Archduchess of Austria, she experienced a life full of luxury, with plenty of freedom to explore her interests.
She particularly enjoyed dressing up dolls in fancy clothes.
But at age 15, Marie Antoinette’s carefree days came to an end when her mother decided it was time for her to marry and serve a political purpose: helping France and Austria foster better relations through marriage.
To make sure she fit into the French court lifestyle after being married to Louis-Auguste, the Dauphin of France, her mother provided her with strict etiquette lessons and brought in tailors and seamstresses from the imperial treasury to create an ornate wardrobe that would have cost tens of millions in today’s dollars.
In April 1770 after completing her training, Marie Antoinette left Austria wearing a habit de cour–a formal dress made from brocade–in an extravagant carriage towards a country where she had never set foot before, as well as towards a husband whom she had never met.
A Rebellious Marie Antoinette Becomes A Fashion Icon At Versailles
Marie Antoinette was an outsider who found the strict codes of court life confusing and oppressive.
After arriving in Versailles as a young bride, she was expected to embody beauty, dignity, and etiquette while bearing children to be heirs to the throne.
However, it all proved too much for her, as she lacked the support of a partner who could be loving or encouraging.
The dauphine Louis XVI was not comfortable with his duties as a powerful ruler, nor did he show physical interest in his wife.
This created tension between them and led to rumors that they were not able to consummate their marriage.
To escape these harsh realities at Versailles, Marie Antoinette often visited Paris and sought solace in masquerade balls and operas alongside other nobles and commoners alike.
It wasn’t long before stories about Marie Antoinette’s rebellious attitude started circulating throughout France.
It wasn’t just her antics either – fashion became another way for her to express herself freely.
One of her most iconic looks was the “pouf” hairstyle – essentially a very tall tower of hair that could be decorated with jewels, feathers or even vegetables!
This daring hairstyle set the trend for many other royal women at the time.
It even served as a platform for her political beliefs by showing off a miniature French warship on one occasion!
Marie Antoinette’S Bold Style Sparked Controversy And Set The Standard For Fashion Trends Of The Time
In Chapter 3 of Queen of Fashion, the readers learn about a scandalous event known as “The Affair of the Diamond Necklace”.
It began with Marie Antoinette’s decision to create her own private sanctuary away from court at Petit Trianon which gave more freedom than Versaille.
Here she set fashion trends including wearing gaulle – a demure garment made with layers of loosely draped muslin and tied at the waist with a simple sash.
This outfit was seen as too rough and masculine for a queen, though it ended up becoming popular among women of all classes in France.
Unfortunately, this newfound popularity led to an infamous scandal known as “The Affair of the Diamond Necklace”.
It started when an ambitious con woman convinced members of the French court that Marie Antoinette had asked her to buy an expensive pearl necklace.
The story quickly spread widely and resulted in Marie Antoinette being wrongly accused and humiliated.
Though the truth was eventually uncovered, this scandal is still remembered for its glamorous setting and unveiling on a royal court.
If you’re heading off to bed, I wish for your restful sleep and sweet dreams!