Tuesday 24 March 2020

Film Fashion: Marie Antoinette (2006) - Madame du Barry Edition

One of the more well-known depictions of Marie Antoinette's life, this movie by Sophia Coppola is rich in delicate hues and extravagant details. In contrast to the titular character of the ill-fated queen, her adversary, Madame du Barry, wears predominantly darker tones.

Takes place: 1770's

The costumes designed for Asia Argento's Madame du Barry are characterized by dark colours and elaborate jewels and accessories. 

Dark Blue Gown

This absolutely gorgeous blue gown is a personal favourite of mine of her gowns - nevertheless, the colour would have been slightly unlikely when the court was not in mourning. The symbolism is quite clear. Whereas Marie Antoinette and her young ladies wear delicate pastels, this outsider dons far darker tones. It seems a very deliberate choice and is well-suited to the character of Madame du Barry. She was indeed an outsider at court - a bourgeoisie who was not included in either the company of Mesdames nor of the new dauphine.

The hat is remarkably elaborate. Four purple roses sits on top of a plethora of dark blue feathers. On her neck, a very sumptuous diamond necklace matches her no doubt expensive earrings and the brooches below the bodice.

The bronze fabric is lovely toned to the outfit but the piece itself is slightly confused. Are they attached to the sleeves or mere wrapped around for warmth? The latter would not be unrealistic in the freezing halls of Versailles.

Pink Gown

This robe à la Fran çaise is not of a completely monochrome colour - if you look closely, at the first image below, you can see a swirling pattern of slightly lighter tones. Everything matches: her gown, the hair accessories, the gloves and the fan are all of a very bright pink tone. Interestingly, her necklace is of dark gemstones - that would have been very unusual but suits the look quite well. 

Billedresultat for marie antoinette du barry costumes

Billedresultat for marie antoinette du barry costumes

Fuchsia Winter Gown 

Worn for the winter scene (in which Marie Antoinette says her first - and last - words to her), Madame du Barry's gown and hat is lined with fur. Despite being indoors, the style is not unlikely. Versailles was notoriously cold during the winter months - note that she is wearing black, silk gloves. That does not keep her from displaying a pearl bracelet and earrings matching her audacious colour. 

Green Wedding Gown

By a quick scan through the spectators to the wedding dance, it is clear that Madame du Barry is meant to be one of the more central characters in the early part of the movie. Unlike most other ladies, she wears a deep, emerald silk gown with a massive (and matching) emerald around her neck. She is completely decked out in jewellery; besides the ornate necklace, she wears two bracelets, a diamonds stomacher, diamond earrings, an aigrette, a brooch on her arm and green feathers. 

The robe à la Française denotes a taste for the exotic: the luxurious green stands in stark contrast to the pale gowns of the aristocratic ladies - almost like her parrot.

Purple Cloak

Big, flowing and a deep lush purple - the cloak is perfect for a dramatic farewell scene. Note that the cloak is edged with ruffles. By the slight peak of the gown underneath, it would seem that she is wearing her fuchsia gown. 

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Red Zone Gown

This daring red gown is cut in the so-called zone fashion - so named for the triangle formed by the cut of the fabric on the bodice. This would have been a slightly dark colour for the time period but not completely alien. The costume stands out - compared to her other gowns - for its comparative lack of decorations. Note that the only jewels are the three rubies on the bodice.

Billedresultat for marie antoinette du barry costumes

1 comment:

  1. I loved that dark blue gown, especially, though all of Madame du Barry's clothes were so lovely. I'm sure the queen and the others were the height of fashion, but to my eyes their clothes are overdone to the point of tacky, (though I did like a few of the queen's outfits), whereas Madame du Barry is elegant.