Top Five 18th-Century Inspired Music Videos


Pop music videos and 18th-century costumes — two great tastes that taste great together! Some of these we’ve shared with you before, but why not wrap them all up together with a bow?


Annie Lennox – “Walking on Broken Glass

Of course we’ve discussed this one, with cameos by Hugh Laurie and John Malkovich and the costumes reused from Dangerous Liaisons (1988). It’s a fabulous song and a classic ‘story’ video trying to make sense of the lyrics, so the historical costumes add to the drama. Except for the towel on Annie’s head — what’s up with that?


Falco – “Rock Me Amadeus”

Nothing to do with the film, but part of that 1980s / 18th-century zeitgeist, this vid’s best feature is Falco as an 18th-century fop kickin’ it with a biker gang. The costumes are nowhere near historically accurate, but it’s a dance tune sung mostly in German, so no biggie.


Adam and the Ants – “Stand and Deliver

Clearly, we loves us some Adam and the Ants — we analyzed the video and the background materials extensively, what with the mix of 18th-century costume, pirates, military style, and New Wave awesomeness.  All hail the dandy highwayman!


Madonna – “Vogue”

Specifically, Madge’s performance at the 1990 MTV Video Music Awards, where she borrowed the white francaise Glenn Close wore in Dangerous Liaisons to perform the dance hit. This is my personal anthem, and yes, I know all the moves (you’ll see them on display at any Costume College Gala).


Bow Wow Wow – “I Want Candy”

Sure, you may remember the song from Marie Antoinette. But this video is a little different … yep, you’ll find all three of the Frock Flicks team, plus two our our sig.others and some of our best pals, all frolicking around Chateau de Pys in southern France! Trystan’s husband filmed and edited the production, which we all contributed to.



Are there other 18th-century themed music videos we should be aware of?


About the author

Trystan L. Bass

Twitter Facebook Website

A self-described ElderGoth, Trystan has been haunting the internet since the early 1990s. Always passionate about costume, from everyday office wear to outrageous twisted historical creations, she has maintained some of the earliest online costuming-focused resources on the web. Her costuming adventures are chronicled on her website, TrystanCraft. She also ran a popular fashion blog, This Is CorpGoth, dedicated to her “office drag.”

27 Responses

  1. Mark A Havens-Bequette

    I worked with Frieda Paras-Jones in the late 80’s early 90’s on many music videos Madonna was one of our clients I remember pulling the Glenn Close dress from WB and building men’s waistcoats…

  2. Kelly F

    There was some co-ed teeny bopper group in the late 90s (or maybe early 2000s) that did one, but I can’t remember enough to find it. But it was Versaille-ish and they were dancing?

  3. Kendra

    This is my nomination! I have no idea what the song is supposed to be about, but it entertains me.

    Girls Aloud – Can’t Speak French:

  4. Julia

    I love Rock Me Amadeus so much and Annie Lennox is just the best. Fantastic list!

  5. Bat21

    Duran Duran’s Out of My Mind features a lot of Rococo-style clothes by Vivienne Westwood.

  6. Julie Caskey

    Thunderstruck Cover by 2Cellos has some nice stuff.

    • Kelly

      Oh man, that was quite the ride.

      I hate it when you think you’re gonna get laid and then your hookup starts having wolf heads come out of his chest.

  7. Patty

    Belinda Carlisle’s La Luna has some really nice masquerade ball scenes