Marie-Antoinette Meets Vivienne Westwood: The 18th Century Back in Fashion at Versailles

When Marie-Antoinette meets Vivienne Westwood...  Le XVIII au gout du jour is an extravagant exhibition held in the apartments of The Grand Trianon in Versailles, and dedicated to the influence of the 18th century on modern fashion. Fifty models by great designers of the 20th century dialogue with costumes and accessories from the 18th century.

French culture of the 18th century was embodied by Marie-Antoinette, Madame de Pompadour and Madame Du Barry -- paragons of frivolity that have always fascinated the movie industry, writers and the fashion world. With its huge powdered wigs, hoop petticoats, corsets, embroidered vests... This extravagant style has influenced many designers of the 20th century.

Vivienne Westwood brings back brazen courtesans, fashionable Belles are corseted by Azzedine Alaia, Christian Lacroix drapes his queens with brocades lavishly gleaming with gemstones, and Olivier Theyskens summons up the ghost of Marie-Antoinette in a Hollywood film. With Yohji Yamamoto, court dresses are destructured and so does Rei Kawakubo with riding coats. While Thierry Mugler hides oversized hoops under the dresses, Jean Paul Gaultier puts them upside down.

All of these pieces come from the archives of maisons de couture and from the Galliera Museum's collections.
Le XVIIIe au gout du jour
Collections Galliera@EPV / J-M Manai, C Milet
Collections Galliera, 1750-1760
@EVP / J-M Manai, C Millet
Collections Galliera @ EVP / J-M Manai, C Millet
Pierre Balmain, Haute couture Summer 1954
Collections Galliera @ EPV / J-M Manai, C Millet
Vivienne Westwood, Pret-a-porter S/S 1991
Collections Galliera @ EPV / J-M Manai, C Milet
Vivienne Westwood, F/W 1995/96
Collection "Vive la Cocotte" @ Marcio Madeira / Zeppelin
Vivienne Westwood, S/S 1996
Collection "Les Femmes" @ Marcio Madeira / Zeppelin
Thierry Mugler, Haute couture F/W 1997/1998
Collection Maison Thierry Mugler @ Marcio Madeira / Zeppelin
Thierry Mugler, F/W 1992, 1993
Collection Maison Thierry Mugler @ Patrice Stable
Jean Paul Gaultier, Haute couture S/S 1998
Collection Maison Jean Paul Gaultier @ Marcio Madeira / Zeppelin
Jean Paul Gaultier, Haute Couture S/S 1998
@Marcio Madeira / Zeppelin
Maison Christian Dior, Haute couture F/W 2004/2005
Collection Maison Dior @ Marcio Madeira / Zeppelin
Maison Christian Dior, Haute couture F/W 2007/2008
@Marcio Madeira / Zeppelin
Chanel by Karl Lagerfeld, Haute couture S/S 2005
Collection Maison Chanel @ Marcio Madeira / Zeppelin
Balenciaga by Nicolas Ghesquiere, S/S 2006
Collection Maison Balenciaga @ Marcio Madeira / Zeppelin
Rochas by Olivier Theyskens, Marie Antoinette for Sofia Coppola, F/W 2006
Collections Galliera @ EPV / J-M Manai, C Milet
Yohji Yamamoto, S/S 2011
@Marcio Madeira / Zeppelin
All images, courtesy Chateau de Versailles and Galliera Museum
Le XVIIIe au gout du jour - The 18th century back in Fashion is currently on exhibit at the Grand Trianon, Versailles, France.
July 8 - October 9, 2011