Marie-Antoinette Inspired Portrait with Ship | Maddie
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Marie-Antoinette Inspired Portrait with Ship | Maddie

Before Chanel and Dior, there was Rose Bertin, a commoner and humble dressmaker. Together Rose Bertin and Marie-Antoinette created Haute Couture. | Doni Belau of Girls' Guide to Paris


Marie-Antoinette, the last Queen of France, has often been referred to as the fashion icon of her time. Perhaps the Queen's hair was even more notable than her elaborate dresses and shoes. Marie-Antoinette's hair was often styled in stunning poufs that were more than 3 feet tall. The plateau was decorated with everything from ships, with the curls forming the waves of the ocean, to fantasy gardens, ostrich plums and pearls.

In the days before television, radios, and the internet, creatively styling hair while gossiping with your girlfriends must have been an entertaining way to pass an afternoon. It still is today. I know a thing or two about that after personally styling this photoshoot.

After the execution of Marie-Antoinette, the pouf immediately fell out of fashion and did not return to style until the Beehive gained popularity in the 1960s, and later with the B-52s in the 1980s, and then Amy Winehouse in the early 2000s. The style keeps coming back.

When I began forming the plan for a modern day Marie-Antoinette inspired photoshoot, I immediately added a ship to the mood board. I had no idea where I would find the sailing ship. A quick search on Amazon didn't yield the type of ship I sought. Shortly thereafter, while perusing the isles at a Goodwill Thrift Store, low and behold I spotted the perfect sailing ship made of tin. Was this coincidence or the law of attraction at work? I say law of attraction. I'm a glass is half-full type of person.

All that was needed to complete the hairstyle was an ostrich feather and some roses that I spray painted hammered gold, and voilà—pouf magic.

Location: Tucson, Arizona.