September 10, 2014

Marie Antoinette Inspired Sunglasses and 18th Century Eyewear: Fit for a Queen



I recently saw a post on My Elle blog about an eye-wear ad campaign inspired by Marie Antoinette. While I am pleased that Marie Antoinette continues to influence the fashion world this year, and a new twist - eye wear, in this case I would say the interpretation is all about the styling!

This time my beloved Wildfox Couture has released their new AW2014 line of eye-wear, The Fit for A Queen collection shows (some) inspiration from the 18th century. Several of the designs feature a super round frames that we can certainly say is reminiscent of 18th century spectacles and their predecessors. The designers push this style with over-sized frames, more inspired by eye-wear of the 1960's.

The Bel Air sunglasses in Tokyo Tortoise, for example, have some 18th century inspiration to be sure. They are super-round frames with "Wildfox" and "Bel Air" etched in gold lettering on the front. In the 18th century, tortoise shell glasses would sometimes have Chinese characters carved into the bridges. Some characters included money, freedom and joy.¹ So these frames are very in tune to 18th century spectacle aesthetic.

Wildfox did a Spring 2011 campaign, inspired by Sofia Coppola's Marie Antoinette
I have collected a couple of excellent examples of 18th century eye-wear below. Wildfox has long been inspired by the 18th century and what they love is to create luxe photo shoots that extend scenes, colors and style of Sofia Coppola's Marie Antoinette (2006). So even if the glasses aren't for you, enjoy the lovely photography, fashion and art!

Philippe Mercier, The Sense of Hearing, The Sense of Sound. 1744 to 1747, oil on canvas. Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection.

Mercier, detail.


Jean-Siméon Chardin, Self Portrait. 1775, pastel on paper. Musée du Louvre.

Chardin, detail.

Winona Sunglasses by Wildfox in Gold and Mint Green

Wildfox AW2014 eyewear ad campaign.


Allan Ramsay, Mary Adam. 1754, oil on canvas. Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection. 

Detail of super round frames.
Bianca Sunglasses by Wildfox in Tortoise
Arthur William Devis, Admiral Peter Rainier (1741–1808. 1805, oil on canvas. College of Optometrists.
The Bel Air and Twiggy frames look familiar...
Wildfox AW2014 eyewear ad campaign. These are the Bel Air glasses.

Bel Air sunglasses by Wildfox in Tokyo Tortoise 


Possibly Schneider, One Pair of Spectacles. 18th century. Brass, wire, glass. Brooklyn Museum.

Wildfox AW2014 eyewear ad campaign
Twiggy Deluxe Sunglasses in Mint Green








¹Stewart, C. (2005, Mar 19). Spectacles bear closer scrutiny. The Times.

August 29, 2014

An 18th Century Dance


François Marie Isidore Queverdo. La Danse. 1772, Pen and black ink, bistre, gray and blue washes, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.



August 12, 2014

Madame DuBarry Movie Release

Madame du Barry movie poster 1920


Eureka!Entertainment have announced they are releasing Madame DuBarry, as part of their Masters of Cinema Series on September 22, 2014.

This film stars actress Pola Negri (Emma Bovary in Madame Bovary 1937) as Jeanne Vaubernier, who would become the infamous Madame DuBarry and Emil Jannings as Louix XV. Jennings also portrayed King Henry VIII in Anna Boleyn (1920).


Pola Negri as 18th century French royal mistress Madame Du Barry in the 1920 film
Pola Negri as Madame Du Barry, working her way up the aristocratic ladder in Madame DuBarry (1919). Photograph by Theodor Sparkühl and Fritz Arno Wagner. The Pola Negri Appreciation Site

"[The film Madame DuBarry] tore down the American ban on German films, caused an international interest in German pictures that for a time threatened to overshadow Hollywood, and began the Hollywood phenomenon of importing overseas talent, beginning with director Ernst Lubitsch on December 24, 1921, and following up with Pola Negri on September 12, 1922. Only in France did this film do poorly, where its rewrite of French history was generally considered to be revisionist German propaganda." -David Gasten 


Film still from Madame DuBarry via Eureka!Entertainment


Madame DuBarry was originally released in 1920 by First National with the title Passion. Directed by Ernst Lubitsch, and costumes designed by Ali Hubert.


costume designs for Madame du Barry fashion history sketches
Costume for Jeanne Vaubernier for the film Madame Dubarry. Ali Hubert. European Film Gateway. 

costume designs for Madame du Barry fashion history sketches
Costume Design  for the film Madame Dubarry.. Ali Hubert. European Film Gateway. 

The new release features  HD 1080p presentation, Blu-ray, and newly translated English subtitles.



RELATED: Madame du Barry's Marble Chimney Piece for sale
RELATED: Norma Talmadge as Madame du Barry

August 05, 2014

Marie Antoinette's Shoes




These shoes were auctioned off in 2012, said to be a pair belonging to Marie Antoinette. To further the provenance, the shoes come with the story that Alexandre-Bernard Ju-Des-Rets gave the shoes to Marie Anotinette as a gift when she was twenty years old.


Shoes that belonged to Marie Antoinette, Marie Antoinette's Shoes
Marie Antoinette's shoes in green and pink with bows.  NY Daily News.


Shoes that belonged to Marie Antoinette, Marie Antoinette's Shoes
Marie Antoinette's shoes at the auction house. Photo by luxury.net

These pink and green slippers were sold by Paris Drouot auction house which had estimated they would fetch between $8,000 and $13,000. The shoes sold for $65,600.


In 2010 these tricolor-ribbon slippers, also said to have belonged to Marie Antoinette sold for $57,000.


Shoes that belonged to Marie Antoinette, Marie Antoinette's Shoes
Tricolor Ribbon shoes said to belong to Marie Antoinette. Photo by Styleite.com



Here is another pair of slippers, said to be worn by Marie Antoinette. (below)

Shoes that belonged to Marie Antoinette, Marie Antoinette's Shoes
Slippers that belonged to Marie Antoinette, Musee Carnavalet. Photograph by Sandrine.


These slippers below were gifted to the museum by a serious collector, Mrs. Clarence R. Hyde. The slippers include a paper label that states "Worn by Maria Antonietta, late Queen of France at the time She was taken at Paris" and an adhesive label "Marie Antoinette's Slippers"

Shoes that belonged to Marie Antoinette, Marie Antoinette's Shoes
Slipper. 1790–95, Silk. Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Slippers. 1790–95, Silk. Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art.


And just for fun...The Metropolitan Museum of Art has a pair of shoes in their collection that was used in the  film, Marie Antoinette, by Sofia Coppola.  The shoes were designed by Manolo Blahnik (among several other pairs) for the film. The designer gifted the shoes to the museum in 2006.

Shoes made for the film Marie Antoinette by Sofia Coppola, made by Manolo Blahnik

Aren't they wonderful?

Shoes made for the film Marie Antoinette by Sofia Coppola, made by Manolo Blahnik
Manolo Blahnik, Shoes made for the film, Marie Antoinette. 2005-6, silk, leather. Gift of MB 2006. Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Shoes made for the film Marie Antoinette by Sofia Coppola, made by Manolo Blahnik
Manolo Blahnik, Shoes made for the film, Marie Antoinette. 2005-6, silk, leather. Gift of MB 2006. Metropolitan Museum of Art. Detail via TheHistorialist