With another successful Fetes Galante complete at the Chateau de Versailles, I thought we'd have a Versailles-themed FYC. Enjoy this diverse collection of items from Etsy, from beauty to homeware, jewelry to books.
Based on a little-known 1794 epistolary novel by Jane Austen called Lady Susan, it follows the machinations of widowed Lady Susan Vernon who is determined to find a suitable match for herself and her daughter, while fending off the rumor-mill of society amidst her own indiscretions. The plot zips along, and it has a characteristic Austenian slant towards ironic commentary on the part of all of the characters, who seem incapable of true self-awareness. Underpinning the story, is a theme of brazen 18th century feminism. At one point the main character remarks to her friend, an American played by Chloe Sevigny, "Why ever did you marry a man too old to be managed and too young to die?" And manage the men they do. Actually, all of the women in the film do; from Lady Susan's sister-in-law who refers to her husband as "always so obliging" while influencing him to return them all to London for her own ends, and her own wilting mother who regularly hides matters from her husband to avoid his interference.
The dialogue takes full advantage of the witty repartee allowed by the genre, and the viewer can't help but laugh throughout, as the whole misadventure wends its way towards an expected conclusion. The fun is in the journey, and the whole thing has much the same feel as a light stage comedy of the era.
The one criticism I would offer is with the costumes. I don't know if there was a lack of funding for the costumes, or if there was a confusion of ideas, but whether we assume that the events take place in 1794 or not, there is far too wide of a spread of styles evident across the characters, and at times some odd "costumey" half measures, as if some things were purpose-made, and others pulled from the local community theatre stock. This would make more sense if the latter were solely on background characters or ones who are seen only briefly. I'm happy to overlook the use of a sheer net overskirt for one of Lady Susan's dresses as a fanciful take on the period, but it's mixed with hyper-realistic pieces on her daughter, and then we have an almost 17th century-eqsue collar on her friend, and several times it seems that characters wear the correct outer clothing without the necessary supports underneath. In short, there isn't a clear and consistent aesthetic beyond "late 18th century." That being said, the hair is well-executed and the locations and set dressing are a treat. Despite the costume confusion, I did really enjoy the overall look of the piece.
It was a really entertaining film, and I would highly recommend it for anyone who enjoys this period and is looking for something less heavy than The Duchess with the wit of Pride and Prejudice and a dash of ironic feminism.
Bringing it back! In today's For Your Chateau we look at costume and reenactment apparel; and with the success of the Bridgerton franchise I thought we'd encompass "the long 18th century" with some Regency items. Making repeat appearances are items from Etsy favorites RoseGalante and Sign of the Grey Horse. Don't forget that many shops are having 4th of July sales right now, so you might snag some historical styles for less!
Not only did it end up being, I think, a really perfect addition to the room, but it quite handily provided a better spot for the tv than the somewhat lower, all-black, massive console which had previously stood in its place (and which we donated to a local charity shop). In order to take care of the many irregularities in the wooden backing of the mantle itself my partner first build a U-shaped structure that attached to the wall. To fit it as closely as possible it was necessary to decide whether to cut into the existing skirting boards at the base of the wall, or to notch out the dimensions of the board from the base of the box. I was concerned that, should we decide to the move the fireplace unit with us to another home, that we'd regret making modifications to it, but my partner assured me that we'd likely meet a similar issue in the next home, and that he could replace the box easily enough.
Finally, we moved the antique mantle into place, leveled it, and attached it to the box and frame, which are screwed into the wall with huge anchors. There was some touch-up painting, and some rather more extensive painting of the box; which should have been done before most of the rest of the process, but wasn't due to time constraints owing to when my partner could be in town.
This year, almost a year after it was initially completed, my husband and I were able to hang one more in joyful anticipation of what the new year would bring.
As for our marriage, the Comte spends his time in Paris attending to family matters while I remain at present in Auvergne, currently in Saint-Saturnin. In two weeks we travel to Riom where my mother will rejoice to be reunited with her only grand-daughter, whom she also adores. Not long will Aurelie remain the sole grandchild, however, as Andre's wife will be delivered of her child sometime in the next month. The Chevalier, as I continue to think of him despite his new title, has two sisters, both younger than I. Neither is yet married, though the elder, Henriette, is promised to the younger son of a Marquis, whose name I quite forget. Thus Aurelie is the favored child in his family as well. I find his father aloof, and his mother having died many years ago, she is not present to facilitate our interactions.
Today my jeweler delivered a watch I had made for Andre to celebrate the birth of his child, and which I will leave with Maman while when we are in Riom. I am having new clothes made in great quantities, as I find it curious how many of my garments are no longer tolerable, my shape having changed in curious ways since last year. Another time I will recount the story of her birth, but for now Aurelie smiles at me and seems to want me to relinquish my pen. I am powerless to deny her merest whim. Oh, how I love my child!
With another successful Fetes Galante complete at the Chateau de Versailles, I thought we'd have a Versailles-themed FYC. Enjoy this d...