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Caroline Weber is an author of the book “Queen of Fashion: What Marie Antoinette Wore to the Revolution” 2006, is a specialist in eighteenth-century most of the French literature and their culture. Authors focus is mainly on enlightenment and the French Revolution. When I was reading this book, it made me feel like I am traveling in books contest and made me imagine as I was the Marie Antoinette she was a 14-years-old princess, who later became a Queen. So, every time I was reading it I would ask myself “is this really how the princess was acting those days?” “is that what they had to do?”
This book was telling a great story of how Queens fashion was a campaign she waged against the oppressive culture strictures and harsh political animosities that best her thought her twenty-three-years tenure in France. (Weber,2.) The most surprising thing was knowing history and reading this book and knowing that It was a Queen who did not want to be a woman just under her mans “feet” and listening to what he says. Marie Antoinette seemed like a “hero” the women who weren’t scared to stand for herself and show her political prospect in her fashion, she adores her dresses and showed them what she believes and what she doesn’t. Other authors would talk that Antoinette was more classifying her actions as “crime of Fashion.” (Weber,8-9.)
The big shock for me was that Princess mother spends $400,000 on her daughter to change princess’ teeth and brought stylist who served as a hairdresser to Luis XV’s own queen, just because the princess was wearing her hair pulled up in back, so she was starting to bold. This for me seems something that women would do to impress their man and if their man richer they would try to make their selves stand out, so their husbands wouldn’t leave them. Also it makes me think that in the past as well as these days we as a women have to look representable for ourselves and our spouse, I think people still have that mindset that women is just something to look at and adore and from I experience women is taking from granted as it was in past then Marie Antoinette was still alive no one wanted some women to tell them what to do! And of course, it does bother man as they represent their selves the head of the household. I loved her passion for fashion and how her clothing can tell more about what she thinks about politics.
Marie Antoinette was known as a big fashion expert everyone wanted to be like her! Some ladies even made their man go bankrupt. After man started complaining that they don’t have any money left Marie Antoinette was indicted for lawlessness and sexual license, this happened because women after spending their husband’s money would go and find other lovers. Women were going crazy they wanted to be just like Queen wear her hairstyle and beautiful dresses which were very expensive, so they had to spend a lot of money to be able to just look like Marie Antoinette. Queen, she was an inspiration to women who were tired of just being at home raising kids and looking good for their man, they wanted to be known for their work and they wanted to be heard. But later, in 1785, The Affair of Diamond Necklace happened. The reputation of Queen, already tarnished by gossip, was ruined by the implication that she participated in a crime to defraud the crown jewelers of the cost of a very expensive diamond necklace. This affair is historically significant as one of the events that led to French populaces disillusionment with the monarchy, which, among other causes, eventually precipitated in the French Revolution. Queen was dressing against her political believes to show people if she agrees with or not, she was very tough to look at when she star wearing green color dress. The green color as women said was “color of Artois “who would they never forgive” (Weber,238.) women started wearing dresses, or colors if they don’t like political things so they express that thru their clothing. Also, Man outfits got simpler than women’s. Fashion took a turn to a lighter, more frivolous style, transitioning from baroque to rococo.
The latter period was characterized by pastel colors, more revealing frocks, and lots of frills, ruffles, bows, and lace. This look spread from France and was copied by the elite in other European capitals. I think I am convinced by Louis XIV’s observation that fashion is “the mirror of history” because I think If we look at our days fashion and compare that with how our parents, grandparents use to dress like we would see a difference between us and them. But also, I heard people saying that old day fashion is coming back to life and young people would wear things that they see maybe in old pictures of their grandparents and at first thought it was funny but then sees someone their age wearing it and it looks good on them, so they want to wear something like that too. So yes I think that fashion is a mirror of history, now we can even tell what year was this and that wore and now we hear a lot of parents saying “ oh then I was your age I wore that to but it was different style one but I did had something like that” that just shows that we fashion never dies it comes back to life sooner or later. I also think people make choices to change their styles as life goes on just for simple fact that people around us are different everyone is trying to have their own style so they would be seen in public and that will tell their story, because a lot of people make assumptions from your look first and then they just try to talk to you. In this story I liked womens support to other women even when Marie Antoinette had a different stages in her life she still was been followed buy women who wanted to have what she did, they wanted her look even when she was hated they still copied her style!
In fact, after Queen was executed by guillotine, last fashion thing was for women to wear thin red ribbon round their neck. Queen Marie Antoinette I think made a very big impact in history, fashion, gender and power, not every woman would be able to survive what she did, not every woman had as much courage as Queen did. I think a lot of women should read this book and get inspired by how Marie Antoinette handled situations that was thrown at her and how she left a mark in world history as women who had her own way to tell what she thought at that time when women could not have a freedom to say anything she found a way to express herself.
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