Picture of the Week 2

Surviving chemise worn by Marie Antoinette while in prison.

I came across this picture and article while surfing the internet today and right away knew I had to post it. To think that Marie Antoinette wore this chemise while in prison is fasinating. To think what all she might of gone through while in prison. The conditions couldnt of been wonderful at all and unfortionatly at the end of it all her life was taken when it didnt need to be.

With the onset of the Revolution in 1789, Marie Antoinette again used her fashion sense to represent her. Once the Royal Family was moved to Paris in 1789, Marie Antoinette was no longer able to live a pastoral life at the Petit Trianon. Rather, she began wearing more “Queenly” Robes a la francaise again, covering herself in diamonds to show the stark difference between her royal person and the revolutionary peasants. She staunchly, and not surprisingly, refused to wear anything related to the Revolution, such as the popular tricolore.

Her unpopularity had grown so much that at one point the Queen toyed with the idea of wear a “bullet proof”-type garment under her clothes. The corset-like garment was made by layers of glued taffeta which was said to guard against bullet or bayonet attack. However, in the end she refused to wear it

Once in the Tower, Marie Antoinette’s clothing became very simple and subdued. This was not like her earlier “simplistic” phase with muslin chemise-style dresses.

Rather, she wore simple white, brown, or black dresses which reflected her current mood. She also began to loose quite a bit of weight, as shown from a seamstress’s bill for taking in the sides of the Queen’s corsets.

The day of Louis XVI’s death, Marie Antoinette temporarily stopped her sobbing to ask for mourning clothes. From then on, she wore only black with the exception of her execution. To it, she wore a bright white dress, cut very simply. The Revolutionary government refused to allow the Queen to wear her mourning robes to the guillotine in fear she might spark sympathy as the King’s widow. I’m sure many of the Parisians who lined up to watch the former Queen roll by in the cart on the way to the guillotine were surprised to see her dressed so, in stark contrast to the depictions of her from the numerous revolutionary pamphlets and newspapers. I’m sure in many ways she, too, was surprised to find herself dressed so, such a change from the glittering bride who had arrived in France so many


Published in: on May 4, 2011 at 10:47 pm  Comments (2)  

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Thanks so much for the links! 🙂 I love your site and am adding it to my links sections at Everything Tudor and MA Queen of France!

    • Thanks so much. Your sites are in my top favorites. I go to them all the time. 🙂

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