The fashion of the Sun King period

Introduction and overview of the chapters
The early baroque period and a birth of fashion of the Sun King
The charming noblemen of the Royal Court

The early baroque period and a birth of fashion of the Sun King

The fashion evolved into a luxury form as early as the time of the reign of Louis XIV's parents (Anne of Austria and Louis XIII) and of his grandparents (Marie de Medici). But only in the unique atmosphere of the Court of Louis XIV, there was the fashion able to reach the dimensions and ostentation which will enchant the whole world.

Early Baroque Period: Louis XIV's uncle, Gaston d'Orléans in a suit from 1634 (pic. 1). Grandmother Marie de Medici in a ceremonial dress with a huge collar and the sleeves with lace cuffs (pic. 2), Marie de Medici during the visit in Marseille (pic. 3) and Marie de Medici in a royal ceremonial dress (pic. 4).

Early Baroque Period: Louis XIII in the boots and a tailored jacket with lace collar. Mother of the Sun King, Anna of Austria in a dress with a huge collar and the sleeves with lace cuffs.

Fashion of the Sun King: "The working clothes of the King" - Louis XIV, from his childhood in white stockings and shoes, and in ermine cloak.

Fashion of the Sun King: The Royal Family in the official ermine cloak: Louis XIV's wife Marie-Thérèse (pic. 1); the cousin Mlle de Montpensier (pic. 2); Louis XIV’s second wife, the Marquise de Maintenon in negligee (pic. 3) and his second sister-in-law Liselotte d'Orléans in negligee and wig (pic. 4).

During the Early Baroque Period (1618 - 1648, ie. the period of Thirty Years War) that immediately preceded the reign of Louis XIV, the fashion had already evolved into a luxury form.

• Men’s clothes are consists of a jacket, of a lace shirt and tubular pantaloons under the knees complemented by the stockings and suspenders. Clothing was complemented by a large hat.

• A female skirt and padded bodice were made as the separate parts with an exceptional fashion stylization.

• The lace collar replaces the mesentery, and the necklines of dresses grow bigger. The laces are so in fashion, that there are the sleeves with conical lace cuffs which complement the overall look of the dress.

Clothing of the Royal Musketeers.

The early baroque fashion, men's and women's dress.

In the first half of the 17th century the Louis XIV’s parents wore the clothes in this way. In the second half of the century (already under the Louis XIV reign), the French fashion gained whole Europe. Each month the small male and female mannequins in a new costume were distributed from Paris to European capitals...

In Versailles, there is emphasis not only on the complete etiquette, theater and dance, but also on the clothing relating to the previous kinds of arts strongly. The clothes are more relaxed, nevertheless more sophisticated. But they are also more decorative because the ornamental elements are positioned on whole clothes. The play of lights and shadows is very important as the same as the colours. There are introduced some new materials: silk, lace, ribbons, decorative beads, fur. Clothing is flared and airy, and emphasizes the natural full silhouette. It means, this style contrasts with the Spanish primness and unnatural Renaissance fashion, and absolutely corresponds with the dynamic Baroque period.

Clothes of men in religious orders in the 17th century. From left: Jesuit, Capuchin and Sulpician. On the pic. no. 4 the young Louis XIII in clothes that still reminds fashion of the period of Rudolf II.