Daily Archives: April 9, 2011

18th Century Costume Archives: Affair of the Necklace

Much creative license is taken with this gown, worn by Joely Richardson as Marie Antoinette in Affair of the Necklace, but it’s an amusing recreation so I thought we’d examine it anyway.  First of all, are those peacocks on bodice?  A golden cage in her hair? 

Antoinette was notorious for bringing whimsical fashions into style, wearing such props as birds, boats, and bows, often to towering effects.   Although restraint is applied here, I can’t help thinking Antoinette looks like a creamy, strutting cake.  And as for the golden lump of fabric upon her head? It resembles a turban gone horribly wrong, wrapped by a cackling opium eater (which begs the question: do delirious opium eaters cackle? *sigh* Another day, another curiosity!).  A brooch at her bosom, leafy engageants, and chandelier earrings complete the ensemble. 

By the by, I can’t wholeheartedly poke fun at the earrings as Girandole (a chandelier-esque style named after crystal-pendant candlabra wherein three oval stones dangle at the bottom, the middle being slightly lower than the outer two) earrings were popular during the 18th century.