Let Them Eat Cake! – How Marie Antoinette Reinvented Political Policy through Personal Style

The one and only Marie Antoinette. She is a legend in her own time and to this day. Without her, I believe their would be no such thing as a power revolution of fashion. She is the original misunderstood icon that reigned as Queen of France too young.


When Sofia Coppola created a film around Marie Antoinette, it opened my eyes to the young queen. She presented her in a powerful, majestic and airy way. I took it upon myself to read more about Marie Antoinette and soon discovered that she is misunderstood by most of the public. From the time she was made Queen of France and fashion to the moment she was sentenced to death at the turn of the French Revolution, she remained poise.

Her fashion, dress and style has inspired many future designers including Chanel, Christian Dior and Dolce and Gabbana. When I think of Marie, I think of pastels. She made baby blues, pinks and green elegant and strong. These colours became a symbol of strength and power because of her.

In the 18th Century, the bigger the waist, the more appealing the women. Marie Antoinette encouraged this look and added power through her dress by not only that but also makeup and hair. She was one of the first young Queen to use rouge (blush) on her cheeks. In the time, women of a certain age were encouraged to wear rouge to appear more youthful. Marie did this and it shock the Versailles community but her power move quickly became a trend. The way she used cosmetics still inspires brands today. She used a powerful look with a very pale face (which was a symbol of power), bright red cheek, and a shockingly bright red lip. This look was new,  fresh and unique. And many women followed to express their makeup as she did because it reflected power for women at Versailles. Below is a video of the amazing Lisa Eldridge giving a tutorial on how to look like Marie Antoinette.

She started a trend that can be seen in the 20th Century called Power Dressing. She was the beginning influencer to all things power dressing. Antoinette understood the importance of her dress and influenced the modern day woman.

Antoinette was the original Queen of power. She knew that she was not the star of the show like her husband King Louis XVI was. So she used her power through dress. The people of Versailles were all watching her for her next move because she offered inspiration and beauty in a time of uncertainty.

We must remember, Marie Antoinette never said “Let them Eat Cake!”. She was deeply misunderstood and grew up in a very elite way. She only knew what she knew and was never exposed to the reality of France at the time.

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