Marie Antoinette & The French Revolution 


                                        Dresses& Fans


Court dresses in Marie-Antoinette's day was characterized by the pannier or hoop skirt frame.This had been popular in the court of Louis XIV but had fallen in and out of favor.Marie Antoinette reintroduced it and gave it a new shape : it now extended widely but was straight as possible from front & back.For the first time,the hoops were hinged so that they can be raised or lowered.This exaggerated silhouette would die with the Bourbon monarchy,being replaceed with the softer,more soft flowing "Empire Line" favored by the napolean empress , Josephine.


A compulsory accesory,fans were ornate and richly decorated.Marie-Antoinette's wedding fan was heavily set with diamonds.

                                      Makeup & Hair

18th century Hair

The height of the coiffure or headdress - including hair,false hair,powder,hats & ornaments as one creation - increased in height when Marie Antoinette became Queen.By 1778 it was often more then 20 inches high - sometimes as high as 3 feet 0 and ornamented by theme of the day.A coiffure a la flore,for example would include a basket of flowers perched of the mass of hair,while a coiffure a la victoire would involve the classical wreath of oak or laurel leaves.After 1780 it became fashionable to top the coiffure with hats & bonnets.

18th century Makeup

Scented starch was used as face powder,and to powder the hair until grey.Face&Hands were often heavily made up with white paint or paste.Rougue was used extravagantly,not as a delicate shading but in precise circles,stars,or cresent moons, were perfectly place to draw attention to dimples or features of particular beauty.Perfume was used liberally, but soap sparingly.


18th Century Shoes

High heels were in fashion until the 1780s.Mules or slippers were more comfterable than most and often whenever indoors.They were heavily embroided,often bejewled or decorated with a ribbon tie or a rosette.