Bonjour Friends! I had so much fun looking over these romantically high coiffures! I can't believe the intricacy and artistry put into these styles. I wonder how long it took to finish getting dressed in the morning?
Leonard was the most celebrated hairdresser in the court of Louis XVI. He invented elaborate ways to wear ones hair & his popularity lasted for more than 10 years! Some styles to his credit are the coiffure a la Dauphine, the coiffure a la monte au ciel, the loge d'opera which made the wearer 72 inches from chin to top of hair! Mon Dieu! Also, the coiffure a la queasco, which is one of my favorites, it is the one where the hair is piled high and 3 plumes a added to the back, he is also responsible for the pouf & the sentimental pouf which one would add adornments that reflected a loved one or something near to ones heart. I love it!
In her memoirs Madame de Campan states that "the Queen had hitherto displayed great simplicity in her toilette, but her tastes became more expensive after her husband's accession, and as she was copied by the ladies of the Court many of them exceeded their means so much that their husbands began to complain. The King disapproved this excessive luxury of dress, but he did nothing to check it. It may be said that the most insignificant events during his reign were seized upon as pretexts for bringing in some new fashions which, whenever they were patronized by the Queen, obtained universal vogue. She was very fond of plumes, and the mania for them was carried to such a point that their price increased ten-fold, and the choicest had been known to fetch as much as fifty louis".
Soularie states in his Historical Memoirs of the Reign of Louis XVI, "When the Queen passed along the gallery at Versailles, you could see nothing but a forest of feathers, rising a foot-and-a-half above the head, and nodding to and fro. The Princesses, aunts of Louis XVI., who could not make up their minds to adopt these new fashions and copy the Queen every day, called these feathers a horse-trapping." Nobody had so high a head-dress as the Queen!
These coiffures got so out of hand that women were banned from the theatre if their was too high as to obstruct the view of other patrons and many hairstyles were so high that a lady would have to kneel in her coach or sudan in order to fit! I am a fan of these over the top, ornate, and ostentatious coiffures! Who would not love to adorn their hair with pearls, diamonds, fruit, branches, flowers, cupids, initials, butterflies, birds, ships, vegetables, nests, cages, ribbons, ells of silks & fabric, powder, false curls, lace, & my favorite feathers? Hmmm...how should I do my hair tomorrow? This sure beats my "Mom hair"!
Bisou Mon Amis!
PS I ran across an article that described the invention of a color called cheveux de la Reine...does anybody know what that color might look like?