14 thoughts on “Top 5 Turquerie Costumes in Frock Flicks

  1. I had pre-ordered it at CSA and it arrived already. It’s beautiful. Brava! And the bibliography!!!
    Had been looking forward to it ever since you spoke at CSA (Stella Blum award??).
    Here’s hoping it was another award or two …

  2. I noticed “That night of Varennes” some months ago when it was in the arte-Mediathek. I loved the representation of the French stage coach which is so typical for France in the 18th century that you might wonder that nobody before or later focussed on that subject. Unfortunately the movie is very long and I had not the time to look the whole film, which in some scenes is too long. But I loved the cast especially Harvey Keitel as a foreigner in revolutionary France. But I hated the extensive number of stereotypes there too. I would vote therefore for “The night of Varennes” as the production standard was not really high and some other costumes were bad and some were OK at least. Some better costumes in my opinion could not make “Farewell My Queen” into a better film as acting was not good too and the whole project a wasted chance to represent the focus of a servant on the court and the last days of French “absolutism”. I can’t really be kind to “Amadeus” because I’m not a Mozart-fan…

    Great topic for a blog post by the way…

    1. I love Mozart!
      Which is one reason I loath the film “Amadeus”. The idea that Mozart just scribbled things down while idly rolling Bullard balls is absurd and insulting. His manuscripts are full of corrections and editing… like any other composer.
      But mainly I HATE the costumes… including the Turkish ensemble. It all looks like a high school student designed it. And the same designer did the same lousy crap in “Valmont” so it wasn’t a fluke.

      I’m sorry you don’t like Mozart. His earlier stuff is amazing for a very young man, but his later compositions are better and fantastic! That’s why his early death is so frustratingly tragic. He was just getting even better!
      Have you tried the “Haydn” string quartets, or the last 4? And “Le nozze di Figaro” is the BEST! (I’m not an operaphile either) The 2 piano quartets are also pure genius. Ok, I’ll stop nagging you. 😀

      1. I just prefer Grétry. But I learned that maybe it is better that Grétry and all those others are not noticed so much although they made similar music like Mozart (or even more impressive operas) because they don’t have to suffer under bad representations of their lifes or on stage.
        I think that in most films about composers everything is reduced to a very poor way in which the musicians get their ideas. It’s hilarious that there is even a film about Da Ponte (Io, Don Giovanni) telling the opposit of most of the other flicks that Da Ponte had all the ideas which were leading to the plot of the opera…
        Forman has his own taste. You will find it in works of many directors, that they just disslike the historical costumes in one way or another and you can see the same handwriting through most of their work (at least when they are influantial enough in the whole process).

    2. I’m halfway through Varennes and will be doing a review soon! You’re right, the coaches (especially Casanova’s) are SUPER cool! And yeah, a lot of stereotypes.

      Farewell My Queen was mostly a shitshow, which is too bad because its source novel is great. That lévite is one of its few redeeming qualities.

  3. What a great post. So interesting.

    As far as men’s clothes go… is the banyan, often with a turban-y head gear for the wigless head, part of this?

    1. Absolutely! While they were generally referencing all kinds of cultures, including the Ottoman Empire, India, and Japan, it was basically supposed to be a “Middle Eastern/Asian” kaftan/robe/garment… and the turban is definitely an Ottoman reference. I get into all of this in the book, but the short version is they were both imported and made locally and were part of the move towards (relative) comfort in clothing, lounging/loungewear, and being a worldly intellectual.

  4. If I may add something… There was female version of kontusz (kontusik), and I suppose that’s what influenced robe a’la polonaise.

  5. La Nuit de Varennes! We saw it brand-new in a movie theater, subtitled, and loved it. Have seldom heard it referenced since. And, congratulations on your new book, how exciting!

  6. The clothing worn by Charles Dickens’s character Dolly Varden would fall in this category. I don’t know that there’s ever been any sort of actual frock flick with Dolly, but it was apparently a thing in Victorian England to dress as “Dolly Varden” for costume balls, where those women were referencing Dickens’s reference to the 1790s.So there might be some frock flick set in that era, with a costume ball where someone comes dressed as Dolly.

  7. Congrats on your book! As soon as I read this post, I thought of Princess Caraboo, and its OTT Orientalist fashions. :)

  8. I remember your first a la Turque dress. I followed your diary closely and wanted to make one for myself. Still hasn’t happened, but I made one for one of my dolls. Ill put your book on my wishlist.

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