The Affair of the Necklace: Hat Porn Fiesta

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You know, sometimes the world can be a crappy, stressful place. And when it is, I like to remind myself that there’s still beauty in the world. One way that I do that is to revisit historical costume movies that have particularly great costumes, and to focus in on the visuals in a way that helps me tune out the noise of the world. Given the state of things these days, I thought I’d take you along with me for an in-depth look at the luscious, elegant, and completely spot-on late 1780s hats and headwear of The Affair of the Necklace (2001).

We’ve podcasted about this film, and while it has its problems in terms of casting and storytelling, the costumes (designed by Milena Canonero) are stand-up-and-cheer fabulous. And because this is an era where the main focus of fashion was on hats and headwear, they’re always the thing that catches my eye when I watch the film. Let’s take a look at as many of the things-on-heads as I could find pics of and/or screencap, and compare them to images from the period! Because when you can’t stop screencapping the extras, you know the costumes are damn good.

 

Jeanne St. Remy de Valois in Affair of the Necklace

Trial

The Affair of the Necklace (2001)
Journal des Luxus und der Moden 1790

Journal des Luxus und der Moden 1790

Visiting the Minister

The Affair of the Necklace (2001)
Gallerie des Modes

Gallerie des Modes 1786

Boating

The Affair of the Necklace (2001)
Magasin des Modes 1787

Magasin des Modes 1787

Church

The Affair of the Necklace (2001)
Cabinet des Modes 1785

Cabinet des Modes 1785

Hunting

The Affair of the Necklace (2001)

Exchanging Letters

The Affair of the Necklace (2001)
Cabinet des Modes 1785

Cabinet des Modes 1785

Back at Court

The Affair of the Necklace (2001)
Journal des Luxus und der Moden 1786

Journal des Luxus und der Moden 1786

Tea With the Cardinal

The Affair of the Necklace (2001)
Lady Folding a Letter by Elisabeth Vigée Le Brun, 1784

Lady Folding a Letter by Elisabeth Vigée Le Brun, 1784

Market

The Affair of the Necklace (2001)
Portrait of Henrique de Meneses (1727-1787), Marquis of Louriçal and his family, c. 1783

Portrait of Henrique de Meneses (1727-1787), Marquis of Louriçal and his family, c. 1783

Going Home

The Affair of the Necklace (2001)
Gallerie des Modes

Gallerie des Modes 1783

Dancing

The Affair of the Necklace (2001)

Hall of Mirrors (cut scene)

The Affair of the Necklace (2001)
Gallerie des Modes

Gallerie des Modes 1785

Reading

The Affair of the Necklace (2001)

 

Marie-Antoinette in Affair of the Necklace

First Stage Costume

The Affair of the Necklace (2001) The Affair of the Necklace (2001)
Journal des Luxus und der Moden 1790

Journal des Luxus und der Moden 1790

Reception #1

The Affair of the Necklace (2001)

Church

The Affair of the Necklace (2001)
Journal des Luxus und der Moden 1786

Journal des Luxus und der Moden 1786

Gardens

The Affair of the Necklace (2001)
Cabinet des Modes 1786

Cabinet des Modes 1786

Reception #2

The Affair of the Necklace (2001)

At the Pool

The Affair of the Necklace (2001)
Gallerie des Modes

Gallerie des Modes 1785

Cranky

The Affair of the Necklace (2001)
1786 J de Fouw Portrait of the family of Jan van Loon

Portrait of the family of Jan van Loon by J. de Fouw, 1786

 

Nicole Leguay d’Oliva in Affair of the Necklace

In the Streets

The Affair of the Necklace (2001)
Cabinet des Modes 1786

Cabinet des Modes 1786

Trial

The Affair of the Necklace (2001)

 

Extras & Bit Parts in Affair of the Necklace

Princesse de Lamballe’s Bonnet

The Affair of the Necklace (2001)
Gallerie des Modes

Gallerie des Modes 1783

Princess de Lamballe at the Pool

The Affair of the Necklace (2001)
Gallerie des Modes

Gallerie des Modes

Madame Pomfré

The Affair of the Necklace (2001)
Gallerie des Modes

Gallerie des Modes 1783

Lace

The Affair of the Necklace (2001)
Journal des Luxus und der Moden 1788

Journal des Luxus und der Moden 1788

Gold

The Affair of the Necklace (2001)
Princess Elisabeth by Adélaïd Labille-Guiard, 1788

Princess Elisabeth by Adélaïd Labille-Guiard, 1788

Chicks in a Boat

The Affair of the Necklace (2001)
Gallerie des Modes

Gallerie des Modes 1783

Another Chick in a Boat

The Affair of the Necklace (2001)
Cabinet des Modes 1786

Cabinet des Modes 1786

Slightly Older Ladies in Yet Another BoatThe Affair of the Necklace (2001)

Maid

The Affair of the Necklace (2001)
Gallerie des Modes

Gallerie des Modes 1783

Here for Religious Instruction

The Affair of the Necklace (2001)
Gallerie des Modes

Gallerie des Modes 1785

She Who Holds the Dog

The Affair of the Necklace (2001)

She Who Skedaddles When the Cops Show Up

The Affair of the Necklace (2001)
Journal des Luxus und der Moden 1790

Journal des Luxus und der Moden 1790

Rando in the Hall of Mirrors

The Affair of the Necklace (2001)
Gallerie des Modes

Gallerie des Modes

 

Boys in Affair of the Necklace

Okay, so I wasn’t as thorough here, but then I never am!

Cardinal Louis de Rohan Avec Tassel

The Affair of the Necklace (2001)

Cardinal Rockin’ the Red

The Affair of the Necklace (2001)
Cabinet des Modes 1786

Cabinet des Modes 1786

Count Nicolas De La Motte

The Affair of the Necklace (2001)
Cabinet des Modes 1785

Cabinet des Modes 1785

Mad Hatter Count

The Affair of the Necklace (2001)
Gallerie des Modes 1787

Gallerie des Modes 1787

Count in the Hall of Mirrors (cut scene)

The Affair of the Necklace (2001)

Rétaux de Vilette

The Affair of the Necklace (2001)

 

Which is your favorite hat or headdress in The Affair of the Necklace?

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About the author

Kendra

Website

Kendra has been a fixture in the online costuming world since the late 1990s. Her website, Démodé Couture, is one of the most well-known online resources for historical costumers. In the summer of 2014, she published a book on 18th-century wig and hair styling. Kendra is a librarian at a university, specializing in history and fashion. She’s also an academic, with several articles on fashion history published in research journals.

12 Responses

  1. Daniel Milford-Cottam

    I know it’s another film and another era altoI digether, but I think one of the best “hat films” is Death in Venice. I didn’t like the film at all when I first saw it, but I LOVED the costumes – and especially the ladies’ spectacular Edwardian hats which I feel completely stole the film and blew everyone else off the screen before stabbing them to death with their fabulous hatpins. I should really give it another go, but I thought it was a rather boring, slow film and only the hats kept me watching!

    Reply
  2. Saraquill

    Reading this, a movie that really should exist popped into my head. “Fabulous Hats: The Black Church Story.”

    Reply
  3. Mo Bushell

    I love Out of Africa for the hats and costumes. Have you reviewed that film?

    Reply
  4. Milla

    Spectacular post! Ugh, the bonnets here are just too good for words. Thanks for a perfect remedy for Monday morning blues. :)

    Reply

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