FINE ARTS

Fashion and Versailles

Flammarion. Feb. 2018. 240p. illus. notes. index. ISBN 9782080203359. $65. DEC ARTS
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From Louis XVI to Marie Antoinette, the Chateau of Versailles has been a showcase for French fashion, its influence continuing from the 19th century through today. Fashion journalist and expert Benaïm (Women in Dior) demonstrates how artists, writers, film directors, and couturiers have viewed Versailles as a place of beauty, dreams, and fleeting pleasures, which is reflected in their work. Christian Dior incorporated intricate 18th-century embroideries woven on pastel colors and luxurious fabrics such as tulle and brocade into his creations. But rebel designers such as Vivienne Westwood and John Galliano also found ways to work the elaborate styles of Versailles into their designs. The exquisite setting also serves designers who frequently have their collections photographed there. Benaïm further touches on films featuring Versailles, including Sofia Coppola's Marie Antoinette.
VERDICT With beautiful color photographs and a chronology, this volume will enthrall Francophiles, especially those fascinated by French fashion and design.

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