She began working for Mlle. Pagelle at the Trait Galant. Another rumor had it that one of the costumers was the mistress of the Comte de Charolais. (I will cover that story later) She had two illegitimate daughters. Long story short, when these lovely ladies were to be married off their wedding gowns were ordered from the Trait Galant. Rose was chosen to deliver them and when she arrived at the home she ran into an older woman, a chambermaid. Rose and the woman started talking about the gowns and when the woman asked to see them Rose showed her. It was a total du Barry moment, because Rose found out she was actually speaking with the princesse de Conti! After begging for forgiveness of her informal behavior the princesse promised her 'protection' and 'good will' for the future. A star was born!
She set up shop soon after, Au Grand Mogol, on the Rue de St. Honoré. She had the shop painted yellow with purple accents, and kept pretty shop girls to help costumers. She also hung portraits of her most well to do and popular clients on the walls. Rose was a true business woman and knew how to make it work!
She made hoop skirts that would reach 18 feet in circumference, and decorated them with brocades, silks and rich velvets. She knew how to apply spangles in pleasing arrangements that would highlight ladies in just the right way. She, like Rami, could create elegant flounces of fabric and lace. She knew how to take an ordinary dress and leave it dripping with garlands and flower blooms. The designs were not always symmetrical and were all unique.
Rose Bertin met Marie Antoinette and knew that this was the business relationship she needed- had to have (of course what business man would not think that!) The date for this introduction is set at 1772. According to the Souvenirs de Leonard, which should be taken with a grain of salt, he was the first to introduce the two. On meeting (as this story goes) Marie placed an order of 20,000 livres.*Does anyone know about or been to her house? Just found this...
Two times a month Rose would put her strongest desgins on a doll / mannequin and send it to the courts of Europe. Two times a week she would bring orders and designs to Versailles to show Marie and her favorites. If you wanted to purchase an item from the Grand Mogol you might have been looking at:
Decorated Silk Hats : 60 livres
Plain Straw Hats (only a few feathers or blooms) : 20-40 livres
Court Dress: 1,900 - 2,800 livres ... no real equivalent maybe around $8,400
*Gossip. Sheer gossip!