In that case is Marie-Jeanne Rose Bertin the new black?
NOTE ALL PICS ARE CLICKABLE AND I URGE YOU TO CHECK OUT THE DETAIL!
Born 02/07/1747 Died 17/09/1813.
Many of you will not have heard of her but you would have seen her work in paintings at the very least.
this for example is some of her work:
A true business woman Marie-Jeanne Rose Bertin rose from very humble origins to become no less than Queen Marie Antoinette's personal Milliner and Modiste.
Bertin became a friend to Marie Antoinette almost from the moment the Dauphine arrived in France.
Almost every new dress Marie Antoinette had made from their meeting was concieved and made by Marie-Jeanne Rose Bertin.
Bertin had become apprenticed to a milliner, Mademoiselle Pagelle as a young woman and eventually became her business partner. It was during this time that Bertin had a chance meeting with the princesse de Conti whom she had mistaken for a servant whilst delivering gowns to a client.
The princesse de Conti began talking to Bertin and asked to see the gowns, she was most impressed with the gowns.
A servant came upon the unlikely pair and Bertin discovered that her companion was indeed the princesse de Conti.
Bertin, who after begging forgiveness for her informal manner earlier became a favourite of the princesse de Conti's.
She set up shop soon after, Au Grand Mogol, on the Rue de St. Honoré. The shop was painted yellow with purple accents, and Bertin kept pretty shop girls to help as costumers.
Bertin was almost single handedly responsible for every fashion trend from France in her era.
I could endlessly rattle off details but I know you are all waiting for the threads and here are some glorious examples of her work:
This dress was for Marie Antoinette. The dress dates back to the 1780's satin fabric, silk floral embroidery, ribbon appliqués, spangles and glass stones. Due to its delicate nature, the dress can only be exposed to light for short periods of time. This is the only surviving gown I can find I'm afraid.
hats and hair 'poufs' were also designed by Bertin, including the famous the the "Belle Poule," which was also in the Marie Antoinette movie starring Kirstin Dunst.
The fashion at the time was to create hair and hat arrangements depicting current events. Everything from a husbands infidelity to current gossip was portrayed on the heads of the wealthy ladies of the day.
Bertin was also nicknamed the 'Minister for fashion' by critics of the french monarchy and spent many hours in talks with Marie Antoinette. She became a target for hostility during the early stages of the revolution and eventually moved to London after many of her customers were executed (her gowns were costed at more than 20 times the average annual salary of the time) and the wealthy were prime targets of the revolution.
Marie-Jeanne Rose Bertin is a fascinating historical figure and I urge you all to investigate her if you are interested in either fashion or history.
Here is an article on her from 1913
Queen of the Dubious Updo.
3 weeks ago