Sunday, July 11, 2010

Marie Antoinette: The First Tabloid Darling

It's time for another Marie Antoinette post! Something the the queen had in common with many of the rich and famous today was her popularity as a subject of the early tabloids, or "pamphlets" as they were known. The way she chose to live her life provided much fuel for those who wanted to tear her down and, just like today, everyone loves a trainwreck (see Lindsay Lohan and Britney Spears). She was accused of squandering the court's money on expensive fashion, jewellery, gambling, champangne, and fabulous parties, while the rest of the country was starving. Being a foreigner (she was Austrian) and also a woman, she was an easy target for those looking to find someone to blame for France's problems. The marriage between Marie Antoinette and the King was not consummated until nearly eight years into the marriage, and the public decided that this was because the king was gay. They also accused Marie Anoinette of being a bit of a skank and finding ways to amuse herself with other men. The skank angle always manages to make the papers fly off the shelves.
A pamphlet sketch of Marie Antoinette, criticizing her lavish lifestlye, and extravagent tastes.

In the eighteenth century no one could get away with blatant accusations against royalty, so the pamphlet writers had to be a bit creative, using satirical drawings to get their point across. If the tabloid journalists of today had to do this, perhaps we would all be a lot smarter from trying to figure out what they were trying to say. Some things never change though, as it still is almost always women on the front of the tabloids in the the checkout line at the grocery store.

In the film Marie Antoinette she is shown to be actually having an affair, something which was never actually confirmed. True or not, I wouldn't really blame her. Being stuck with a gay husband really gives anyone the right to have an affair.

Kristen Dunst with her lover in Sofia Coppola's Marie Antoinette

Sadly, the queen was blamed almost entirely for the French Revolution. This is outrageously unfair, as it's pretty obvious that one person can't be responsible for all the problems of a country.

Pamphlet drawing showging the revolutionaries searching and then finding the royal family, after they fled Paris

I think a lesson that can be learned from Marie Antoinette's sturuggle to please an unhappy pulic is that we should never judge another until we walk in their shoes (and if it's Marie Antoinette's shoes, they would be fabulous). However, I do encourage judgement of fashion, please continue to keep that up!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

The Best Swimsuit of All

So, I'm not really sure how I forgot to put this one on my list of top swimsuits, but I don't think anyone will disagree with me in giving Daniel Craig as James Bond in Casino Royal the top honours for best swimsuit of all time. Enjoy...

Thursday, July 1, 2010

The Best Bikinis in History

In honour of summer, I thought I would do a post dedicated to some of the most best - and most famous - bikinis of all time. One of my favorite pastimes in the summer involves a bikini, a drink, a fashion magazine, and the sun. If I'm lucky, there might my a bit of sparkling sea or lake nearby. Now, a fabulous bikini is one thing, but ladies don't forget the accessories! A hat, some jewels, sandals...these are all important components to any seaside ensemble. Please let me know if you think I missed any!

Ursula Andress in 1963's Dr. No. One of the most well-known Bond chicks, Honey Ryder knows how to accessorize her infamous white bikini with a knife belt. Emerging from the sea with her conch shells, she created the most well-known bikini scene in film history.

How I would style it: Lose the knife, unless you really are a conch fisherwoman, and keep everything else.

Raquel Welch wears a fur bikini in One Million Years BC, 1966. While not so practical for the beach, or anywhere else really, Ms. Welch does look fierce in her prehistoric fashion.

How I would style it: For Halloween. That is about it.

Brigitte Bardot, the French bombshell, was credited with bringing the bikini to American beaches in the early 1960s, where it was previously considered scanalous. Ms. Bardot (who in recent years has become a bit of nut), is one of my blonde muses. Everytime I do a cateye, I think of her.

How I would style it: Add some huge sunglasses, because now there is the papparazzi to hide from.

Marilyn Monroe, the most famous sex symbol of all time. Of course it would be her to pair her bikini with heels. Bringing the glam, love it!
How I would style it: Add an oversize hat. Bikini + heels + big hat = glam rich lady.

Pamela Anderson, in full Baywatch regalia, circa 1992. This is only included because the Baywatch swimsuit is so famous, and it's kinda funny.
How I would style it: I wouldn't. Super-high cut swimsuits really should stay in the '90s.

Ariel in Disney's The Little Mermaid. Ariel's purple bikini top is one fashion statement that made a huge impression on me as a 5-year old. Sadly, once she got legs wearing a bikini was perhaps not so acceptable.
How I would style it: Again, for Haloween! And I did...

I wish you all a summer full of bikinis and beaches!