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 Marie-Antoinette's Hair 
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Yes the high hairstyles were very widespread between 1774 and approximately 1780… but I think that Marie-Antoinette followed this fashion as much as she generated it :D

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Sat Jun 16, 2007 10:11 pm
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Marie Antoinette didn't particularly like powdering her hair, did she? I think I read somewhere that she preferred the natural look. But in many of her portraits, it is powdered. I guess she had to go with the trends, being the Queen.

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Wed Jun 20, 2007 3:24 pm
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Actually, her hair may have been quite fragile. She lost a deal of it after her second pregnancy (some even say it was after her first pregnancy). So, after having worn so high poufs that damaged her hair, she certainly preferred to have it natural.

However, as you said, she had to appear royal and to follow Versailles' habits. So, on her formal portraits, she has her hair powdered.

Furthermore, XVIIIe century people did not wash their hair that often, so that scented powder worked like a kind of dry shampoo.

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Wed Jun 20, 2007 3:28 pm
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No, people didn't bathe very often back then... Versailles itself often smelled pretty bad. And people had lice and bugs in their hair so that's pretty gross. How often did the Queen bathe? Did she bathe less or more than everyone else, or about the same?

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Wed Jun 20, 2007 5:54 pm
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Marie Antoinette was a very clean person, and she loved water. She bathed almost every day, if not every day. And, while not, she received "toilette sèche", that is to say that she used scented tissues with creams and lotions.

However, hair is a different thing, I guess... For long, people did not wash their hair very often.

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Wed Jun 20, 2007 6:50 pm
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It's good to know that Marie Antoinette bathed more than the majority of people back then! Thank you Pim. Also, did most people use curlers to get those sausage curls, or was it natural?

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Wed Jun 20, 2007 8:47 pm
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Some people may have had naturally curly hair, but to get those huge sausage curls along the side and down the back of course took some human intervention. I too though am unnaware of what exactly they used, but I can only guess that it was just a more primitive device of the modern curlers we use today.

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Wed Jun 20, 2007 10:09 pm
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Quote:
Also, did most people use curlers to get those sausage curls, or was it natural?

Of course, they needed good hairdressers ! :lol: They used curlers, indeed, and also some kind of postiches and extensions. So that those sausage curls your are talking about (in French we call these "anglaises") cascading on their shoulders and their back could be made of other hair than theirs...

It is another reason why powder was so much in use : they needed to hide the differences that might exist between their own hair and other.

Isn't it interesing that in German, they still say "friseur" for hairdresseur ? The word "friseur" precisely means in French : "the man who makes curls". This specific function of their hairdo was thus extremely important !

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Thu Jun 21, 2007 4:20 am
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Pim, your knowledge is indespensable! :D

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Thu Jun 21, 2007 4:56 am
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Very true!....how do you know so much knowledge about this time! Perhaps you are the queen herself :wink:

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Thu Jun 21, 2007 7:49 pm
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Thank you all ! Vous êtes trop gentils ! But it's quite simple, indeed... I am passionate for so many years... :wink:

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Fri Jun 22, 2007 11:45 am
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Post Mon dieu, Léonard!
If people are really interested in the finite details of the hairstyles of the day I would truly suggest you all read Queen of Fashion: What Marie Antoinette Wore to the Revolution.

The book is fabulous, and goes into great depth regarding the fashions, the customs, and the hairstyles of Marie Antoinette along with other members of the Court.

There are some marvelous pictures in it as well that really give you a great idea of both the beauty of the entire aesthetic, along with the silliness of it all and the impractability.

There is an illustration from the 18th century in the book showing an aristocratic woman preparing for bed. She is surrounded by servants who are lowering a great rigid pyramid-like case on top of her head in order to preserve her massive pouf, that famous mass of hair first developed by La Pompadour, but perfected by our very own Antoinette.

The poufs were sometimes up to three feet tall on top of a woman's head. Two of the most notorious poufs were the Pouf à la Belle Poule, featuring a model of a famous and recently victorious French frigate nested in her lovely locks. Another pouf celebrated a particularly bountiful harvest--the Pouf à la Jardinière which was actually speckled with different sorts of vegetables!

As was previously mentioned--the use of extensions and wire gauzes and frames were often employed in order to keep all of the hair in a distinct shape. Léonard, who makes a brief but fabulous appearance in the Coppola film, was the Queen's favorite hairdresser and the most à la mode of his time. Oh, the hair!

I could go on for hours about it all--the book is fabulous, informative, and marvelously exhaustative. The author is Caroline Weber.

In the meantime, I am hoping for some sort of big hair renaissance.[/i]

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Tue Jul 10, 2007 4:41 am
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Thanks for the book suggestion Gabrielle. I find the hairstyles then amazing.


Thu Jul 12, 2007 3:02 pm
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