December 31, 2008
I was fortunate enough to receive this lovely pair of fun drop earrings by Betsey Johnson! They are detailed with pink enamel bows and little heart crystals, below a large pearl. Love them! You can have them too if you so desire. I might also recommend these Drop Bow Earrings with Fringe for you or your lady's jewelry box!
December 26, 2008
Princesse Lamballe- Katy
Georgiana Duchesse of Devonshire- Dani
Madame Grand- Apoidea
Duchesse de Polignac- Billy Cake
Madame Du Barry- Sara
Bess Foster- Merinitta
Marie Antoinette- Diana Distorted
Lady Hamilton- Nora Simmone
Congrats! Winners: kindly contact me at my Email address with your mailing details!
Everyone, Have a wonderful New Year!!
December 24, 2008
But spring, summer or autumn? tsk.
December 22, 2008
Jane, Duchess of Gordon
Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire
December 21, 2008
He kept the works at his cousin's place, and today they are on display at The Frick (which I can not recommend enough!) Unfortunately they are not displayed as they were intended to be, but they are still just as fabulous!
The Pursuit is set, along with the other panels, in a pleasure garden. The exact place we all wish we could hang out, all day, everyday! Highlighted by warm sunlight, three young girls lay before a fountain at play. Our leading lady sees the boy to the right, who is hidden behind a garden element and camouflaged by his pale clothing.
In an exaggerated action, the girl makes a run for it. And by it, I do not mean she runs for the boy, she is escaping! Her body twist severely and her arms are thrown upwards, her dress and ribbon become caught up around her in the sudden movement.
The garden, particularly the trees in the background mimic this sudden dash. Branches, weighed down by heavy green leafage, create dramatic diagonals that lead the upward and to the right. A particular tree bends over the top of the fountain, framing this element. Which leads me to her companions.
Her companions stay at her feet, and they lay/sit in clumsy positions. Their positions reflect those of the two putti in the upper part of the fountain. This happens between figures and statues in the other canvases too. These little guys are awkwardly forced to twist and turn as they try to cling on to their subject (a whale or fish? You can fill me in on that one). The girls companions here, however do not appear to cling, but rather push the subject off- the three of them opponents to the suitor. The Pursuit is all action and surprise!
The suitor really does not deserve this treatment! He is polished and amiable. He is not hard on the eyes either. And if he is rendered after Louis, well, the we can agree that he wasn't unfortunate in the looks department as a boy! He approaches her, removes his hat and offers her a rose from the garden. His gracious gesture is right in line with courtly etiquette, obviously his mother taught him well. Imagine the game he'll have when he is in his 30's!
Our figures do not seem to have planned their meeting, instead the girls had a play date and were interrupted by the interested boy. A total ambush! In a playful and exciting manner she moves to evade his pursuits, and we see a fun naive moment of love, one sided or not...
The full series:
December 19, 2008
Marie Antoinette's Gossip Guide to the 18th Century is giving away sampler jars scented dusting powder! We all know how important it was to wear powder, and these powders are perfect for after a bath or just to freshen up between dates!
Up for grabs are sampler jars of 8 delicious scents that represent 8 of our favorite ladies! Mini powder puffs are included! Click on the image to see the scent more clearly.
This classy tart had royal blood in her veins. She kept herself together and followed court etiquette. She was sweet and caring, devoted to her friends. Her husband died months after they were married and she was deeply affected. She spent the rest of her life a devoted friend, her friends were most important to her. This scent reflects her regal qualities and, dare I say, innocence.
Georgiana Duchess of Devonshire
The Duchess of Devonshire was a beauty who loved fashion, and if she wasn't swapping styles with the Queen of France, she was setting trends of her own in England. She was a smart girl and the first to take on a political campaign in England. Rumors spread quickly that she traded kisses for votes! This scent reflects the Georgiana at home; a loving mother and smart lady, neck and fingers dripping with opulence, surrounded by luxury of the warm scents of passing seasons.
Madame Grand married well, and was a total beauty. Marriage #1 crumbled when she had an affair with another man! She moved to Paris, where some say she sold her body to make ends meet. Enter Husband #2. He supported her financially so she could move back to London. Turns out Paris was her favorite place and she lived the rest of her days there in splendid luxury thanks to her giving husband. No stranger to profligacy, this scent reflects Madame Grand's taste for the finer things in life, a medley of exotic and fun fancies. This powder dazzles with fine pink sparkles!
Duchesse de Polignac
Gabrielle, Duchesse de Polignac became best friends with the Queen of France. She came from a more modest background. She was always more likely to be seen in pearls over diamonds, and her income was never terribly impressive. These tastes are reflected in this scent of natural fruits, pears and raspberries, with notes of freesia and sweet pea flowers.
Madame Du Barry
Madame Du Barry was the exclusive mistress to Louis XV, King of France. She had influence over the king and was in competition with the future Queen of France. She wanted the most of everything. If the young dauphine got a fancy carriage, Du Barry would want one dripping with gold. Her favorite theme? Love. She was once said to arrive at a ball wearing shoes that had precious diamonds embedded in the soles. This scent reflects her exotic and romantic nature. It also revels her passion for glam, as it comes with a fine white diamond sparkle.
Emma Hamilton began life as a poor girl with no prospects. Through a series of events she managed to climb her way to the top and become British aristocracy. After all, a life of poverty was never for Emma. She loved the finer things in life and indulged in clothes, music, the arts, and food. The Caramel scent of her powder reflects her girlhood naivety and her love of that which is sweet. It has a slight gold glitz to it!
Bess came from the notorious Hervey family, known for their dirty deeds. After her husband kicked her out of the house Bess was left without family, money or protection. She managed to be adopted by one of the most powerful families, The Devonshires. Bess was able to manipulate with her sweet act of being the damsel in distress. Like her powder, she appeared sweet to some, and tart to others.
From today until December 24th comment on this post telling me the name of the Lady whose scent you so desire!
Winners will be posted December 26th! 8 winners will be chosen, each winner will receive 1 sampler jar of dusting powder (3.5 grams) of the lady they mention.
December 17, 2008
And the good news is:
It is more affordable than Dior's lovely Incroyables et Merveilleuses collection!! You can get this amazing umbrella here!
December 15, 2008
I have been in love with these since they came out. The collection is called Incroyables et Merveilleuses, and the pieces are stunning! It is something that any Comtesse or Duchess would pine over, each buy a different piece and giggle over them at 1 am in the gardens. Honestly! I can not even choose a favorite, I like the different little themes in all of them! Click on the image to see the larger more detailed image!
Check out Dior's entire collection here: Just click on the Incroyables et Merveilleuses collection! And I know you would just love to receive a pair of these drop earrings for your next fête!
December 11, 2008
IT is now sixteen or seventeen years since I saw the queen of France, then the dauphiness, at Versailles; and surely never lighted on this orb, which she hardly seemed to touch, a more delightful vision. I saw her just above the horizon, decorating and cheering the elevated sphere she just began to move-in glittering like the morning star, full of life, and splendour, and joy.
Oh! what a revolution! and what a heart must I have, to contemplate without emotion, that elevation and that fall. Little did I dream, when she added titles of veneration to those of enthusiastic, distant, respectful love, that she should ever be obliged to carry the sharp antidote against disgrace, concealed in that bosom; little did I dream that I should live to see such disasters fallen upon her in a nation of gallant men; in a nation of men of honour, and of cavaliers.
I thought ten thousand swords must have leaped from their scabbards, to avenge even a look, that threatened her with insult. But the age of chivalry is gone; that of sophisters, economists and calculators has succeeded; and the glory of Europe is extinguished for ever. Never, never more, shall we behold that generous loyalty to rank and sex; that proud submission, that dignified obedience, that subordination of the heart, winch kept alive, even in servitude itself, the spirit of an exalted freedom.
The unbought grace of life, the cheap defence of nations, the nurse of manly sentiment and heroic enterprise, is gone! It is gone-that sensibility of principle, that chastity of honour, which felt a stain like a wound, which inspired courage while it mitigated ferocity, which ennobled courage while it mitigated ferocity; which ennobled whatever it touched, and under which, vice itself lost half its evil, by losing all its grossness.
|As lit for museum visitors.|
I know you would just love to be hanging out in that room!! They own a wonderful fire screen that was in one of the rooms at Antoinette's Chateau de Saint-Cloud. So imagine that, you are in NYC but have the opportunity to stand in front of that little faithful screen where Antoinette may have stood several times. As Heather said, "Oh if fire screens could talk!" honestly!
|Marie Antoinette's firescreen|
|Detail shot of the top design.|
So you are getting the best of both worlds, the real deal, as it was when our favorite tarts and femmes were entertaining at the party and searching for places to rest their feet!
More info on the rooms at the Met and in the May edition of Architectural Digest.
December 10, 2008
December 08, 2008
The musical adventure will start with Christoph Willibald Gluck, who pioneered a new sound for Opera around the mid 18th century. He worked in Vienna, but moved to Paris and was supported in France. Marie Antoinette was always passionate about music and did her part of supporting music. In Paris, Gluck exhibited a new sound for opera that was a fusion of dramatic sincerity and intensity of feeling.
Like a good modern day emo song! Start out mellow, then remember your heart is broken and scream, and end it off with the intense finale!
He was quite groundbreaking for the time and wrote 8 operas for the Paris stage. He knew what he was doing! His opera Alceste was performed in Paris 23 April 1776.
The story is that King Admeto of Thessaly falls ill and it is said he will only regain health if someone makes a sacrifice of their lives to the gods. No one is willing to give up their lives, except for Admeto's Queen, Alceste. The King regains health and finds out his queen is on her way to her doom. He prays that she is spared, but the gods refuse.
King and Queen have tearful goodbyes, and the King decides that he will follow her and die with her. Once he made this choice, the gods decide to spare Queen Alceste, for the Kings generous decision to sacrifice himself.
The player below lets you hear 30 second clips from all the songs on the album, so breeze through l'opéra and let me know what you think!
1: smart elegance and sophistication especially of dress or manner : style chic>
2: a distinctive mode of dress or manner associated with a fashionable lifestyle, ideology, or pursuit chic>
3: a faddishly popular quality or appeal
So in 1856 the word chic appeared. Here is one author's definition of the term chic, written in 1896, just 40 years after the idea was introduced:
"The most perfect manifestation of the individualistic ideal in dress. It is a purely personal characteristic nether to be analyzed nor acquired, but whose presence is very readily perceived even by the uninitiated. Women of all ages have possessed it, for it is quite independent of nationality and period, also quite distinct from either wealth or beauty. Those lovely enchantresses, Cleopatra and Mary Stuart, whose fabled loveliness modern research has disproved, must have owed their successes to their ‘chic.’"
So in accordance with that take on 'chic,' let's get specific! Ladies who were....
"'most' chic were Lady Elizabeth Foster and the audacious Miss Chudleigh, sometime Countess of Bristol."
I will not be the first to admit that I am not a big Bess Foster fan. I want heathers opinion on this!
"Both Emma, Lady Hamilton, and Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire, were prevented from being 'chic,'"
"Both Emma, Lady Hamilton, and Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire, were prevented from being 'chic' by their faultless beauty."...Oh...much better! I suppose if being gorgeous is the take home prize for not being chic, we can live with it. They made it work!1896
"Women with tall profiles and divine figures are rarely 'chic.' "In that case we can assume Grace Elliot never had a chance at being chic....
So what is your take on 'Chic'??
December 05, 2008
First of all, with such a large dowry she was able to marry well. When she was 16 became the Comtesse de la Châtre, she married Claude Louis, the Comte de la Châtre. Her title was exquisite. The comte was 35 years old at the time and worked for the Comte de Provence. A true blue noble, he came from old-money and as the revolution stirred, he sided with the conservative old nobility, which was fine....
....but, his young and lively wife did not share the same opinions. Had Charlotte better morals, then perhaps she would have stood by the old comte but no! The vivacious girl found herself fully infatuated with the Marquis de Jaucourt (right). They became lovers and she was very much influenced by him and his famous circle. Through him she hung out with the likes of Mme de Staël and Talleyrand. As you can imagine she formed opinions, and desired reform and hoped a revolution would bring needed change.
Charlotte had her new friends over quite often to discuss politics and they would meet in her private sitting room just outside her bedroom. Scandalous! She would also go out with her girl friends and in a Duchess of Devonshire manner, "exhibited her civic spirit." She made, "spectacles of herself," as she shared her support for reform.
Her husband ended up fleeing to England, and when the revolution started spinning Charlotte took her son and left for England too. She ended up divorcing the Comte and married the Marquis de Jaucourt. Morals were never an issue for her!