16 thoughts on “Versailles Costumes, The Good, the Bad, the Ugly

  1. Besides the obvious, already stated above, my major beef are the hair (male and female) and the cheesy moustaches. Either dress the men’s hair better, with more curls and waves, or WIGS! Louis’ hair looks awful, especially if you compare it with the hair in his portraits. And should the women’s hair styles be so — POINTY– at the sides? The hair either looks underdressed a la Poldark (see the photo of Henriette, above), or like somebody set large cones on both sides of the head and dressed the hair around them.

    Louis’s moustache looks like a fake stuck on with spirit gum, while at least Phillipe’s looks like he actually grew it.

    And I seem to recall a lot of boots, rather than shoes, worn inside.

    A friend of mine, who knows a lot about 17th century history, complained that the actual stories of Louis’ court were scandalous enough without having to invent plots.

    1. Kendra wrote up the hair already – https://frockflicks.com/versailles-2016-hair-historical-accuracy/

      And I was going to write up the shoes as a GOOD thing (but ran out of time to screencap) bec. the men are almost always wearing exquisite period shoes indoors, which the king & Phillipe even talk about. They primarily wear boots outdoors & only indoors when they are shown coming in from riding. The show did get that right! It’s key bec. in portraiture, Louis is often shown with his long legs & shoes displayed (he was an excellent dancer, which is also used in the show as a plot point).

      1. Missed the hair discussion. For some reason, I didn’t get any Frock Flicks notices for several weeks last month (thought it odd that Versailles wasn’t being discussed) and still don’t know what happened.

        I haven’t made my way through the entire series yet, but was struck by the boots in the first episode or two. Maybe I noticed the boots because there was a lot of tromping around the grounds — if I remember correctly, the original Versailles was a hunting lodge — rather than serious court stuff going on. I’m all for great legs and wonderful shoes.

      2. I am just now watching the first season of Versailles but the men’s shoes were the first thing I noticed. Allbeit their shoes are a pointed toe heeled shoe, they do not have the “Louis Heel” so named after him. They should be a concave heel flaring at the bottom.

  2. Hats! Hats! Hats! All the guys running around outside without hats! Wrong! No! (I feel better now.) And I still say it was Monsieur who poisoned Minette. And scandals — the Affair of the Poisons was first uncovered in 1666, and de Montespan was in it up to her neck. Most of this must have been happening in Paris while the court was still there, but there has been no mention of the incidents, which ruined a lot of people. And no mention of de la Reynie, who led the investigation.

    1. The king is shown wearing a hat at least half the time he’s outdoors, but most of the other men aren’t (ran out of budget? or conscious choice to make him stand out? who knows!).

      Season 1 didn’t get to Henriette’s death yet, so stay tuned!

      1. I think the lack of hats may have something to do with the difficulty of filming when a lot of people wear wide-brimmed hats. You kind of get stuck with limited angles if you want to see people’s faces. :)

        Didn’t stop my husband from yelling “Hats, hats, I need hats”, in every episode of Versailles. :)

      2. Does that mean we will see her make the trip to England to see Charles II, her brother, for Louis?
        One can only hope.

    2. The first season takes place a few years before the poison affair which actually was began to be revealed in 1675. It’s bound to be portrayed in either Season Two or Three. There is no way they will skip the absolutely juiciest real life scandal in a show like this.

  3. I was SO pleased when Sophie wore stays with the proper lacing. Then they spoiled the moment with a shift which barely covered her derriere. But I suppose it was so short so no one could miss what Mummy meant about Sophie’s value at court. Not the mother of the year.

    I hugely enjoyed Versailles and managed to take the costume oddities in stride. One day I will figure out why I can ignore one show’s inaccuracies, while other makes me turn of the TV in disgust.

    1. Hahhahaha! I know, there’s *just* enough that’s right about this show that I can give the not right parts a pass — it’s good fun to watch for some reason, & I really appreciate that. Maybe it doesn’t take itself so seriously?

  4. I am waiting for the DVD as I can’t get it on my cable TV. Show sounds like it goes from one extreme to another. What I liked from the pictures were the lace….

  5. The portrait of the real Louise shows her wearing a clearly uncorseted bodice that buttons up the front, with no stays underneath. (Her chemise is puffing out between the buttons, and the fabric would tear around the buttons pretty quickly if the bodice itself laced in back.) Given that, is the bodice that ties in front really that implausible? I also can’t figure out what’s going on with the skirts– I’d expect them to be closed all the way around, unless they belonged to mantuas or some other kind of full-length gown that opened in front from top to bottom, which doesn’t seem to be the case in these costumes. The only person who’s ringing any mantua bells for me is the king’s brother; I think maybe his robe is supposed to be a mantua, just worn without a stomacher.

  6. In the case of the images presented (Louise de la Vallière, 1667) and (Elisabeth d’Orleans, 1672), what sort of fastening was this? Just buttons? Fancy clips? I know nothing about costuming, I’m just curious because they look lovely but they don’t seem to be addressed in usual costume adaptations. I’m trying to follow the conversations on here, which mention things like pins and spiral lacing, yet these paintings seem to depict something else altogether.

  7. Not sure I agree with the Louis sleeves bit. I see a lot of fancy sleeves, with a lot of detail interest at the cuffs from that period. Check out this portrait for the beginnings of the tiered sleeves. Construction could also be an inner sleeve support, which would hold better than a casing. https://www.pinterest.co.uk/pin/322077810841056231/
    Also the front fastening for Henriette is another fashion that I see in vogue on portraits of that time. It is merely decorative, it appears, and allows a chemise or under bodice to show through.

Comments are closed.

Discover more from Frock Flicks

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue Reading