Have you ever heard of the 18th century trend that dictated simplicity and the return to the nature? It was all triggered by J.J.Rousseau´s works and it had such an impact on nobility that some aristocrats pretended to be villagers and shepperds and tried to reconstruct the life of common people in their wealthy palaces, of course.
The French Queen Marie Antoinette was one of the people who followed this trend, she even introduced a new trend in clothes - so called Chemise a la Reine or the Gaulle, that was considered inappropriate for the Queen to wear because it resembled the underwear and it was in addition made of muslin imported from the Great Britain. The portrait on the left* where the Queen is depicted in this garment by Vigée-Lebrun caused a scandal.
You might have heard about Marie Antoinette´s private residence Petit Trianon where she fleed from the reality of the court in Versailles. Near the Petite Trianon she ordered a little village to be bulit, you can see a few pictures of it below.
The Chemise a la Reine was a herald of the Regency fashion, Empire fashion, Jane Austen style, that is pictured on the right**. The Chemise was also the first step from starch corsets that women were used to wear during the Rococo era, although they were reestablished by Victorians in the 19th century again.
On the first photograph I am donning a modern take on this "simplified" "rural" look. I used sheer and lace fabrics with little details such as pearls and little bows sewn on the collar or floral pattern on the tights. I also used a scarf as a headband. Wearing of scarves was very popular in the past eras, it added some volume to the hairdo, decorated the hair and hold the hair on it´s place.
*Painting of Marie Antoinette in Chemise a la Reine (source: Wikimedia)
** Painting of a lady in Empire dress (source: Wikimedia)
Petit Trianon & Hameau de la Reine, Versailles, France
Hameau de la Reine, Versailles, France