Marie Antoinette was the last queen of France before the French Revolution. She was born an archduchess of Austria and was the penultimate child and youngest daughter of Empress Maria Theresa and Emperor Francis I.
Marie Antoinette’s first encounter with French fashion was certainly a daunting one. Arriving from Austria in preparation for her marriage to the French dauphin, she was required to change out of her Austrian clothes at the border into French ones, signalling her transformation from Austrian archduchess to the future queen of France. Realising quickly that she could not exert any kind of political influence at the French court, Marie Antoinette turned to fashion as a way to express herself. Known for her extravagant tastes as queen, Marie Antoinette was often ridiculed for her lavish clothing but women across the country flocked to copy her style.
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