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Fashionable Queens

Body – Power – Gender

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Edited By Eva Flicker and Monika Seidl

The essays collected in this book provide profound insights into the wide-ranging topic of the fashionable queen: the manifold implications and effects that the combination of body, power and gender can have are examined by using different approaches and a variety of theoretical frameworks. By addressing queenly appearances in the past and the present, in politics and the media, in royalty and the middle-classes, in the arts and in popular culture, this book offers a new way of thinking of publically significant women, who exert, and at the same time subvert, their power through their attires and thereby negotiate notions of gender, class, power and media representation.
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Let Them Go Shopping: Marie Antoinette Moves from Page to Screen: Pamela Church-Gibson

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Let Them Go Shopping: Marie Antoinette Moves from Page to Screen

Pamela Church-Gibson

Abstract

From the very first years of cinema, the lives of queens have offered promising subject matter, together with a perfect opportunity for lavish costuming and spectacle. The year 1938, for example, saw the release of the first film to portray Marie Antoinette, a pliable cinematic figure and one who can form the basis of very divergent, even revisionist narratives. Marie Antoinette wielded power and achieved fame primarily through her famed sartorial excesses. Consequently, a thirties film-maker could use her as the centre of a ‘woman’s picture‘ a romantic melodrama which gave the costume designer Adrian an unparalleled chance to display his skill. In contrast, Sofia Coppola chose to see her as a young girl on a journey. This paper will look at these two films and at the recent revival of academic interest in Marie Antoinette; her extravagant dress and her obsession with fashion have been reconsidered, and one particular cultural historian, Caroline Weber, has chosen to interpret them as deeply transgressive and politically subversive.



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