Marie Antoinette week

Week 6: Marie Antoinette. My casual 'The French Queen' Look

Ulia Ali blogger

Did you know that Marie Antoinette hada faux peasant village built for herself and her friends at Versailles? Her rustic retreat was called the Hameau de la Reine and it featured 11 cottages surrounding a large lake, pretty gardens, a watermill, a dairy and animals. Marie and her friends would wear simple dresses, dance and play the role of peasants. The people of France saw this as a mockery of their poverty and it added fuel to the general discontent with the Queen.

Imagining Marie and her ladies-in-waiting dressing up as peasants and singing songs in the field inspired me to create this casual look. It is adapted to our century, so don't be surprised seeing me in white jeans. I added little details evocative of Marie: a cute ribbon on my neck, baby blue 'peasant' style off-shoulder top and soft wavy hair.

Fashion Blogger in Park City

You can visit charming Hameau de la Reine today partly thanks to Dior which supported recent restoration works!)Isn’t it gorgeous?! I cannot wait to explore France with my husband one day!

Marie Antoinette's model hamlet - Hameau de la Reine

Marie Antoinette's model hamlet - Hameau de la Reine

Fashion bloggers of Utah

Top - Walter Baker, Jeans - Topshop, Boots - Nine West (similar here)

Photos by Lisa Pillmore


Week 6: Marie Antoinette. In Art and Popular culture

I have seen my share of American and European films about Marie Antoinette. One of my favourite blogs, Frock Flicks, made the most complete list I have seen of all the movies about the French Queen (view it here). I have decided to feature just a few of the very best actresses who have been lucky enough to portray the fabulous Marie Antoinette (how jealous I am that they got to wear all these sumptuous costumes during filming!)

Best portrayals of Marie Antoinette in films. All actresses from 30s to our time

My favourite portrayal is Kirsten Dunst in Sofia Coppola's Marie Antoinette, partly because the film is so gorgeous. If you haven't seen it yet, I highly recommend it!

Marie Antoinette actresses

Marie Antoinette in Art

It is always interesting to compare actors to actual portraits of the historical figures they are portraying. Marie Antoinette had more than her fair share of portraits painted during her lifetime.

Marie Antoinette with a Rose  by  Vigée Le Brun

Marie Antoinette with a Rose by Vigée Le Brun

Portrait of Marie Antoinette, Queen of France by  Jean-Baptiste Andre Gautier-Dagoty

Portrait of Marie Antoinette, Queen of France by Jean-Baptiste Andre Gautier-Dagoty

By   Martin Meytens

By Martin Meytens

By unidentified artist

By unidentified artist

Portrait of Archduchess Marie-Antoinette by  Joseph Ducreux , 1769   

Portrait of Archduchess Marie-Antoinette by Joseph Ducreux, 1769

Portrait of the Queen Marie Antoinette by  Jean-Baptiste Gautier Dagoty

Portrait of the Queen Marie Antoinette by Jean-Baptiste Gautier Dagoty

Marie Antoinette En Chemise, Portrait Of The Queen In A "muslin" Dress, By  Louise Élisabeth Vigée Le Brun

Marie Antoinette En Chemise, Portrait Of The Queen In A "muslin" Dress, By Louise Élisabeth Vigée Le Brun

Marie Antoinette was and is an enduringly  popular figure among artists and photographers. Although she is certainly seconded by Cleopatra, who has inspired an even more impressive body of paintings and sculptures. You can see Cleopatra's representation in Art on my blog here. Regardless, Marie Antoinette, without a doubt, deserves the status of the most fashionable and glamorous European royalty in history.

Week 6. Marie Antoinette. Best Books about the French Queen.


Marie Antoinette's life was so extravagant and tragic that her story inevitably attracts and inspires creative minds to this day. Today I am featuring some of the best books that gives us an intimate and fascinating portrait of the famous French Queen. Later I will share with you the most memorable representations of Marie Antoinette in art and popular culture.

I LOVE reading historical fiction, but to my own surprise, I have yet to read anything about Marie Antoinette, except for bits and pieces from French history books and encyclopaedias.  I asked a few friends (and GoodReads!) to help me to create a list of the most interesting fiction and non-fiction publications about Marie Antoinette.

Click the cover to read more about the book or to buy it.


Top 5 books about Marie Antoinette

1. One of the most well-known and appraised biographies of Marie Antoinette is Antonia' Fraser's Marie Antoinette: The Journey. This is the number one book recommended by users on Goodreads and Amazon about the Queen of France, and I am certainly going to read it as soon as I can! ( I just need to finish the Outlander books first :))

"Antonia Fraser’s lavish and engaging portrait of Marie Antoinette, one of the most recognizable women in European history, excites compassion and regard for all aspects of her subject, immersing the reader not only in the coming-of-age of a graceful woman, but also in the unraveling of an era".



2.  Despite some historical inaccuracies, Juliet Grey's Marie Antoinette trilogy is an enjoyable read and full of fun details.

"This enthralling confection of a novel, the first in a new trilogy, follows the transformation of a coddled Austrian archduchess into the reckless, powerful, beautiful queen Marie Antoinette".



3. Abundance by Sena Jeter Naslund  is another highly rated novel that gives us an unexpected fresh new look at Marie Antoinette as a vulnerable young woman and a human with a very extraordinary destiny.

"Like everyone, I am born naked."
With this opening line of Naslund's compelling new novel, a very human Marie Antoinette invites readers to live her story as she herself experiences it. 





4. A Day with Marie Antoinette by Hélène Delalex is one of the prettiest books I have ever seen! I noticed it at the Rizolli bookstore in NYC, and could not put it down! It is not a novel and neither is it a dry biography. Rather it is a lovingly designed book full of rare illustrations, interesting facts and photographs from Versailles and Marie Antoinette’s life.

"Featuring personal correspondence, lavish illustrations, and a wealth of unpublished material, this handsome slipcased volume reveals an intimate portrait of Marie Antoinette, her personal collections, and Versailles".


5. Even one of the most famous writers in history, Stefan Zweig, also couldn't stay indifferent to the story of the ill-fated Queen. He wrote one of the most detailed biographies of Marie Antoinette - Marie Antoinette: The Portrait of an Average Woman. 


“... the biography to end all biographies on Marie Antoinette ... [Zweig's book] possesses all the qualities of the excellent biography — directness, frankness, full exposition, picturesqueness, characterization, color and delectable readableness.” — The New York Times


Have you read any of these books? Can you recommend other fascinating reads about M. Antoinette? Let me know in the comments below or on our FACEBOOK page (LIKE please!)

Week 6: Marie Antoinette. My French Queen Inspired Look

Ulia Ali as Marie Antoinetter

Every week when I am creating new pastiches or looks inspired by famous historical figures, I wonder how to make them recognisable, yet not too costume-y. I wanted my Marie Antoinette look to be beautiful, memorable, but still wearable.

I opted for this beautiful Diana gown from Lurelly with pastel embroidered flowers and some fancy jewellery, including my matching ring and a bracelet with amethysts. I was thinking of trying Marie's iconic pouf hair with baby powder sprinkled all over my brown hair, but decided to keep the look more XXI-st century appropriate :)  

Blog by Ulia Ali
Ulia Ali trying on the role of Marie Antoinette

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Week 6: Marie Antoinette. Lovely Themed Shop

Marie Antoinette style inspiration. Online shop 

Marie Antoinette had a great influence on fashion all over Europe in the XVIII century. Even today, her feminine baroque style inspires designers and artists all over the world. Stunning floral dresses, blush pink lingerie, flirty ribbons, bows, cute ruffles, selected perfumes and other items that are fit to the queen now are available to you! Check out my curated Theme Shop with hand selected items that Marie Antoinette would certainly love.