By Ana Teodora:
Maria Antonia Josepha Johanna is born. More commonly known as the last French monarch, Marie Antoinette.
I, on the other hand think of her as the “style icon” for the generations to come of royals, a woman with a clear fashion view in a time when her life was controlled to the smallest detail.
Marie Antoinette came to be known as the “leader of French fashion” , along with her main dressmaker, Rose Bertin. Marie Antoinette was born in Vienna, daughter of Empress Maria Theresa and Francis I, Holy Roman Emperor.
At the young age of 15 years (14 years and 5 months ) old she married Louis-Auguste, the heir of the French throne and was no longer the innocent, penultimate child of Maria Theresa and Francis I but had now more power and responsibilities as Dauphine of France.
All her married life and during her rein as Queen of France, Marie Antoinette was a rebel, a free spirit who refused to go by the rules of the French court. Due to her independent personality, she gave the French people the wrong impression and this is what led to her execution, in 1793, at the age of 37, in the famous Place de la Révolution in Paris and also marked the end of the French monarchy.
This year may not have a lot of significance for many but for me, it became the year I first travelled to Vienna, a city that would instantly become one of my favorites.
The art, the architecture, the royal air it’s impossible not to feel and let’s be honest, what 7 year old girl doesn’t want to feel like a princess? It became crystal clear what it was the centre of European monarchy attention for such a long period of time.
Even though she married Louis XVI of France at the young age of 15 and moved away from the only home she knew, the education she received in Vienna from her mother, the Empress Maria Theresa helped shape her personality, taste and what would later become a very extravagant lifestyle, the main reason that led to the French Revolution and soon, her death.
While the French people were starving, Marie Antoinette was enjoying mountains of desserts, throwing lavishing parties and had Rose Bertin design her the most extravagant dresses and different types of hairstyles. These were the pouf and the panache, which was a bundle of feathers.
During her time, a new silhouette for women in high society emerged. Panniers, or wide hoops used to be worn under the skirt, extending it sideways. This was an even more important era as fashion magazines appeared, aiming high society women, but which soon captured the attention of the lower class due to the colorful illustrations and up-to-date fashion news.
Pastel colors and later floral dresses became a trademark. Marie Antoinette brought over from Austria her grace, extravagant taste and heritage that changed the way fashion is viewed.
This article will forever be a personal favorite for many reasons, and I would like to dedicate it to my friend, the most stylish Austrian I know, Eva Maria.