Creating apparel for the cloister of Louis XIV at Versailles turns out to blot a lot added than throwing some adorned bolt on the king, queen and an casual mistress.
Ovation TV launches the additional division of the abundant actual ball Versailles at 10 p.m. ET Saturday, and while the baron and his cloister accept never looked added resplendent, the woman abaft that finery says the ambush is acquainted that their accoutrements serves a broader purpose.
“My assignment is abundant added actualization than fashion,” says Madeline Fontaine, who took the job as apparel artist for Versailles afterwards a continued career in which her assignment has ranged from Amelie to Jackie, the closing of which becoming her an Oscar nomination.
“Fashion was actual present in Versailles,” Fontaine explains. “But in this actualization its role is to serve the characters – and not alone the aristocratic family.
“The way we dress the bottom characters gives abyss to the story. It shows the amusing altitude and accord a ambience of who anybody was. The position of all the bodies is important to acquaint the story.”
That said, the baron is the king, and Fontaine addendum that apparel was a assurance of abundance and power.
“Wealthy bodies would change clothes several times a day,” says Fontaine, which reminded anybody abroad they could allow this absurdity and additionally served the applied purpose of befitting things a little, well, fresher.
“There was actual little baptize at Versailles,” she notes, which fabricated bathing a affluence generally bound to the ultra-elite brand of Louis XIV himself.
Many of the cloister army bathed rarely and accordingly relied on accouterment to accomplish some the aseptic actualization we now aspect to baptize and bathing.
To put it bluntly, there were adenoids issues in the palace, as there were in abounding 17th aeon homes. It would be addition hundred years afore Versailles would be outfitted with bathrooms for accepted use, and best afore best active areas had tubs for bathing.
Wealthy bodies like Louis XIV would abrasion linen, because it was anticipation to blot odors. Louis was said to change shirts several times a day.
“One of the affidavit for alteration so often,” Fontaine says, “is that it gave bodies a adventitious to dry off.
“They additionally acclimated a lot of perfume.”
That didn’t stop accouterment designers from appetite for the best abundant look, and Fontaine addendum that by the time of Louis XIV, the French had developed their own audible actualization style.
“Previously you would see similarities to German actualization and some from the Dutch,” she says. “But Louis XIV looked actual altered from rulers in added countries. When you see him and the queen of Spain, you see two actual audible styles.”
As happens today, contemporary accouterment in Louis XIV’s time was additionally consistently evolving.
“Fashions change from division to division in Versailles,” says Fontaine. “We had to accumulate alteration the things we made. We had to acquisition a way to alteration from the alpha to the end of anniversary period.
“At the end of the aboriginal season, Louis was cutting a abbreviate vest. We had to change to a best vest.”
At atomic one thing, however, remained constant: Accouterment was advised added for actualization than for affluence of wear.
“Comfort was not the aboriginal prerequisite,” says Fontaine with a laugh. “Most of it was not adequate at all.”
Fontaine has formed on shows from abundant eras in abundant countries, and she says she brand it that way.
“Clothing consistently tells us article about the period,” she says, “and about the actualization of the people.
“Every time I get a hypothesis about a show, I go added into whatever I already knew. Of advance I never apperceive everything. I abstruse a lot about this era from Versailles.”
One of the things she thinks would be fun in the apparel bold would be to booty a actualization like Jacqueline Bouvier “and put her in altered eras.
“If you could accumulate her the aforementioned age, which of advance would not be possible, what would she attending like in the ‘20s, the ‘30s, the ‘40s?”
Once she starts on a actualization like Versailles, she says, it becomes a collaborative process.
“I assignment with the directors,” she says, “because they accept a eyes of what they appetite it to be. I assignment with the abstruse people, the lighting and set designers, and with the actors, because they apperceive what administration they are going.”
So alike admitting Versailles is congenital about the apple of a king, anybody matters.
“We appetite things that would attending good,” she says, “even with a beggar.”
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