Chinoiserie and Marie Antoinette


The recent release of the Shelby Doll Dress from VoguE put me in mind of Marie Antoinette. She was a huge promoter of Chinese art and the style of Western decor infused with Chinese sensibility called Chinoiserie. Chinoiserie is a French world meaning China-esque, a cultural appropriation that has produced amazing design in home decor and fashion.


Where better to shoot this bit of chinoiserie than at its natural home, Versailles, where Louis XIV, XV and XVI all found it a compelling complement to the Rococo style of the palace. With the intricacy of the dress, I opted for the simple, but chic Coquette pumps from N-Core.


As you can see, the dress has completely Western form, cut in the baby doll style. The halter style neckline, the epaulettes, the dress are all completely Western while the fabric’s rich gold, intricate embroidery and the emblem on the bodice are fully Chinese in style. This fusion of Chinese sensibility with Western form is the epitome of chinoiserie which was never about wholesale appropriation, but more about syncretism and synthesis.


It seemed fitting, to me, to honor the French roots of chinoiserie with the fabulous wig from Paper Couture. It’s quite old and no longer available. However, a search on Marketplace can find comparable pieces. The skin is from GOLA and is called Alice in Wonderland. It has the doll-like qualities I was looking for to tie the doll dress theme together with the 18th Century styling.

Store info at Blogging Second Life
Poses: Behavior Body
Skin: GOLA Alice in Wonderland
Eyes: Poetic Colors
Lashes: Maitreya/Lelutka
Mani/Pedi: Leverocci Gold Glitter
Hair: Paper Couture Queen of Roses Powdered Wig (not available any longer)
Clothing: VoguE Shelby Doll Dress
Shoes: N-Core Coquette
Jewelry: Donna Flora Autumn Colors
Location: Versailles

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