As we mentioned in our podcast on Sophia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette, here are some recommended resources about Marie Antoinette and 18th-century costuming…
From Kendra: Here’s the details on the book I recommended: Gazette des atours de Marie-Antoinette: garde-robe des atours de la reine: gazette pour l’anne 1782. Publisher: Runion des muses nationaux: Archives nationales, 2006. This is a stunning reproduction of Marie-Antoinette’s swatch book for 1782, from which she would choose her wardrobe each day. Pricey, but gorgeous, even if you don’t read French. Check Bookfinder for retailers; remember to search for books in French!
From Sarah: So, here’s the three books I recommended for further study:
- Fashion: A History from the 18th through 20th Century by the Kyoto Costume Institute.
- Historical Fashion in Detail: The 17th & 18th Centuries by Avril Hart & Susan North
- Costume Close-Up: Clothing Construction & Pattern, 1750-1790 by Linda Baumgarten
They’re all excellent resources for how to go about constructing and detailing 18th-century clothing for both men and women, so it was really hard to chose just one. But you don’t have to take my word for it. ;-)
From Trystan: Here’s the most obvious resource — Because you really must start with this if you are interested in Marie-Antoinette and especially if Coppola’s movie left you scratching your head a little. Pick up Antonia Fraser’s biography of the queen, Marie-Antoinette: The Journey.
This is the bio that Coppola very loosely based the movie on, but Fraser’s work is much, much more annotated and rich than the screenplay might indicate. It’s also a quite accessible bio, even though it’s chock-a-block with names and dates and facts. Fraser paints a portrait of Antoinette’s childhood and influences, her motivations, her evolution as a person.
And if you’re looking for juicy details, yep, she outlines exactly when and where Antoinette could or could not have done the deed with Count Fersen. We may never know for sure, but Fraser comes as close as possible :-)