"Do not be negligent about your appearance....I cannot caution you enough against letting yourself slip into the errors that the members of the French royal family have fallen into of late. They may be good and virtuous, but they have forgotten how to appear in public, how to set the tone [for the nation].... I therefore beg you, both as your tender mother and as a friend, not to give in to any further shows of nonchalance about your appearance or court protocol. If you do not heed my advice, you will regret it, but it will be too late. On this point alone you must not follow your French family's example. It is up to you now to set the tone at Versailles"
Poor, poor Marie Antoinette. Not only was she married at 14 and in a loveless marriage, she also had the stress of being a dauphine and then queen (and then later angry mobs came to her house and locked her up in prison later to have her head chopped off). Then, on top of all that, not only was she the Queen of France but also the Queen of Fashion. Marie Antoinette (from now on referred to as M-A) had very, very strict style guide lines. Everyday she was dressed by practically the whole world. At least 15 women, and men, were in charge of getting her dressed, hair done, and makeup on. AND she didn't even get decide to decide what she wanted to wear. The fashion of M-A was not just used for making her look good, it also was used politically. If M-A looked slovenly (as in she was not wearing a corset) then the whole court erupted into chaos and rumors of impending war with Austria were whispered all over France. This may sound ridiculous, but it does actually bring up a pretty good point.
M-A's mother, in the letter I quoted above, warned her of the repercussions of improper etiquette. Although today it is not necessary for us to wear corsets and all that jazz, we could still take a leaf out of M-A's life book. I believe it is extremely important to "not be negligent about your appearance". It is important to always look as if you have everything under control and are a poised and elegant woman. We often forget now a days that dress is as much a part of etiquette as is saying "please and thank you". If you are nonchalant about your appearance, people will believe you are nonchalant about your life. And then next thing you know the whole of Versailles will giving you death glares and whispers about war with Austria will follow your un-corseted body all around and then there will be threats about you and your husband losing the throne to your brother-in-law. Oh wait, that probably won't happen to you, but if you behave as though it might, you will always remember that appropriate dress is just as important as brushing your teeth and pushing in your chair after you eat (of course M-A didn't have to do that, she had people to do that kind of thing for her).
So, all in all, why shouldn't we all behave as Queens? If we behave as if we could potentially set the tone for all of Versailles and France (or even just your house, school, or work) I think we could all look fabulous all the time.
wanna see some of M-A's fabulous fashions? Yeah I do too.
|This is her as a child, even though she looks like she is dressed as an adult, |
she is only like 8 in this picture (ridiculous right?!)
|The just looks uncomfortable, but still nice and poised and elegant. |
I just wouldn't fancy wearing it
|Beautiful. Just Beautiful|
|I'm pretty sure this one is from right before she got married|
|PSYCH!!!! haha that isn't Marie Antoinette!|
That is Kristen Dunst in the movie Marie Antoinette, which is not very historically accurate,
but still a fun movie with pretty dresses and A LOT of good looking food
Tata for now!
P.S. Fun fact of the day. Marie Antoinette and Louis XVI didn't "consummate their marriage" for over 7 years.