18th century, costume in cinema

Les Adieux à la Reine – oh goody, another travesty!

Thanks to Heileen, who posted a photo from the upcoming French film “Les Adieux à la Reine” (Farewell My Queen) on Facebook, starring Diane Kruger as Marie-Antoinette in a story about her relationship with her reader in her final days.  I had to track down more to confirm suspicions — what I found was a making-of video in French, and I screencapped some of the costumes… and I am disappointed!  Apparently MA is a drag queen, aniline dyes are period, necklines come up to the throat, and Ye Olde Back Lacing Bodice rears its ugly head.

I also found this video, also in French but with tons of costume shots (mostly of extras), if you want to poke the wound a bit more.

Please to discuss!

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  • Reply Trystan August 22, 2011 at 2:22 pm

    Eh, can’t get the video to work, but wtf is going on in that last row of pix? Weird stomacher / zone, bad fit / shape, wonky, ugly strangeness like pigeon breasts? Also, let me nitpick the purse — wear a frickin’ pocket, lady!

    The wacky colors don’t bug me (hi, those are *my* colors, thankyouverymuch), & the boys look kind of ok. But those sure are some skimpy flowers in the wigs that don’t fit anyone’s heads very well!

  • Reply Jenny-Rose August 22, 2011 at 3:27 pm

    Ouch! Wow those necklines are driving me crazy! There really is no excuse for 18th century costuming that bad in this day and age! Shame on that costumer designer.

  • Reply Maggie August 22, 2011 at 4:26 pm

    What’s up with the necklines? They look like they don’t fit right. Like this one: http://demodecouture.com/wordpress/wp-contents/uploads/2011/08/oNtbck5Rj248uHOs7rIfrQ.png

    So bizarre!

  • Reply Fanny August 22, 2011 at 4:29 pm

    HORRIBLE ! In France we never sucess in costumed movies :x

  • Reply Twila August 22, 2011 at 5:31 pm

    I know it’s bad to say… but I shall say it anyway,

    The necklines look like the designer hung around some of the “home school, religious, modest” comms and picked up some bad ideas.

  • Reply Stefanie August 22, 2011 at 5:56 pm

    The fit of those gowns is atrocious. :( How very disappointing.

  • Reply American Duchess August 22, 2011 at 7:09 pm

    Just one big “WTF” for this. No way. No. N.

  • Reply Alyxx August 22, 2011 at 8:17 pm

    GAH! What high school drama department did they raid for this? I can take the baby blue and green/creme men’s suits, and I’ll tolerate the little blue jacket & skirt, but the rest should be burned as a warning to the others.

  • Reply Lylassandra August 22, 2011 at 9:55 pm

    I thought the French had better taste than this…

  • Reply Emma August 23, 2011 at 7:42 am

    This is so sad. The fabric is so lovely to look at, then they cut it into less than pleasing outfits.

  • Reply Kim August 23, 2011 at 6:33 pm

    Good lord, what on earth was that designer thinking? Just look at that zone front gown – is she wearing some kind of 16th cent armor under that bodice? The horror!

  • Reply Kim August 24, 2011 at 11:40 am

    I should mention, it is the last pictured zone front that I find so particularly horrifying…..

  • Reply Trixi August 24, 2011 at 12:40 pm

    OK I am going to say what a waste of perfectly good fabric. (makes yuck face).

  • Reply Alisa August 26, 2011 at 1:14 am

    Ugh… Horrendous! What were they thinking?? The saddest part is that everything looks like they were on the right track at first… like, the wigs are okay and at least they’ve heard of zone fronts… but then – what did they do with that knowledge? :-(

  • Reply Gideon Querido August 31, 2011 at 5:25 am

    Horrible!!!!! This movie is going to suck. The costumes and hair are all wrong. Diane Kruger looks like a drag queen! If Marie Antoinette would see this, she wouldn’t stop laughing!

  • Reply Bobbie Kalben August 16, 2012 at 11:00 am

    Now that this movie is being shown in theaters as Farewell, My Queen, have you had a chance to see it? Now I do understand that a movie director is trying to make a point with the costumes in a film, and is not trying to make a documentary of costume history. I hope you do see this film and can give us your opinion of specific costume aspects. I saw it last night and was struck by how many dresses and a jacket have a placket in the center front with buttons – one dress with a buttoned center front placket also had cross lacing in back (not to mention another dress that appeared to have a zipper in back). Is there any historical reference for dresses or jackets having a buttoned center front placket in the 18th century?

    • Reply kendra August 16, 2012 at 11:42 am

      Bobbie — I haven’t seen it yet, but I definitely will! Zippers — good lord. Yes, you do see button-front stomachers in the 18th century, although I’m not positive that’s what you’re seeing in the film (since I haven’t seen it). The style was called “compere,” and it was more of a 1770s/1780s fashion — usually worn with the robe a la francaise, although it probably could be worn with other styles. Here’s some examples: http://www.cgfaonlineartmuseum.com/gainsbor/p-gainsb12.htm and http://metmuseum.org/Collections/search-the-collections/80097353?rpp=20&pg=1&ao=on&ft=francaise&pos=6

      All that being said… the ONLY dresses that fastened in the back in the 18th century were 1) court gowns and 2) children’s clothing. This is something that drives me crazy, because it’s SO much easier to have a front-fastening gown, and that back closure just looks so crappy/costumey!

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