GOING FOR BAROQUE :: Marie Antoinette

By Megan McDonald March 19, 2012

Difficult to explain why, but I’ve always been a bit obsessed with the history of the French Revolution and the fashionable Marie Antoinette. So imagine my delight when I learned that this year’s Selby Gardens Orchid Ball theme is "An Evening at Versailles."

If you’re facing the challenge of dressing like the Queen of Fashion, think unapologetic flourish and plenty of romance with an aristocratic air. Marie Antoinette’s signature silhouette was prim yet seductive – sexiness was implied, not overt.  Oh, and don’t forget to play with touches like bows and florals. 

To put a finer point on your costume, focus on these three categories: hair, makeup and dress. So, lets start at the top. Colette Hartner of d.cole hair design has given us three step-by-step examples of how to style our Renaissance do. Rather not give it a go on your own?  Call Colette for an appointment at (941) 954-2390–be sure to mention it’s for Marie Antoinette look.

  • Start by curling all hair, going in the same direction.
  • Section the hair from the ears to above the nape on an angle
  • Section two: put in a ponytail and tease base, then brush the curls together into one big curl
  • Section one: tease from root to ends and start shaping. Pin ends into bouffant smooth and spray


  • Separate hair from the crown to the nape-drawing a circle, leaving out perimeter. Tease root to ends and pin into self, making a bouffant
  • Curl perimeter going in different directions
  • Pin curls over bouffant and spray



  • Curl all hair going in different directions
  • Section away hair on top of head
  • Tightly tease roots of the rest of hair and lightly tease the ends.
  • Flip head over and grab the ends and pin curls in-making a bouffant of curls on crown
  • Tease hair on top head and make two barrel curls
  • Pin first barrel curl onto head and the second onto bouffant-spray



  • Similar to the above, but opposite
  • Curl all hair in different directions
  • Section hair out from the nape down
  • Tease roots tightly and ends lightly and pin-leaving crown tall into a bouffant
  • Next section-make three barrel curls
  • Pin in by placing the first onto head and the following two going up the bouffant-spray

If you don't have enough hair or can't achieve enough height, use dome-shaped Styrofoam as a base.


Now, makeup – not only are the MAC artists trained for theatrical makeup that suits a Nicki Minaj and a Lady Gaga but their ever evolving color palettes challenge a Pantone leaflet.

First step, always for any makeup, is prepping the skin with good moisturizer.


Then, lighten and brighten the skin tone with a matte foundation like:

  • Light shade of Prolongwear Concealer and Studio Fix Powder foundation.
  • Apply Gesso eye shadow (pure white) with a #129 brush to the face to add additional brightness.


  • Apply a matte peach or pink to the apples of the cheeks. Try Peaches or Pink Swoon with a #188 brush.


  • Try matte shades with washes of pinks and corals like: Painterly Paint Pot, Sushi Flower, Free to Be or Gesso.
  • Line the eye with Fascinating eye kohl and Blacktrack fluideline.
  • Lashes should be thick and dark. Try applying #1 false eye lashes with False Lash mascara.


  • Lips should be defined with a round shape and filled with a bright color, such as Cherry lip pencil with Impassioned lipstick.

And if you’d rather make an appointment than make yourself up, call MAC at (941) 362-4123.


Then there’s the dress. What to do?  One option is to peruse the walls and walls of wonderfully fun costumes at The Glass Slipper. Another is to check in with the evening dress department at Saks Fifth Avenue – (941) 364-5332 -- for a personal styling session. And they’ll check the dress log to be sure you’ll be the only one there in your gown of choice.

Here’s a sample of what’s in store now at Saks:


One last touch, if you wish. After the beheading of Marie Antoinette, sympathizers wore a red ribbon around their necks and it quickly became fashionable.  Interesting that the Queen was still influencing style even after her death…

If you haven’t secured your seat for "An Evening at Versailles" under the banyan trees at Selby Gardens on March 31, some tickets, which start at $300, are still available. You can find them online or call at 941.366.5731 ext. 229.  Also, check out their Facebook page, HERE. See you there!

For more fashion news and notes, follow Heather on Twitter @heatherDUNHILL.

And for even more ways to get Sarasota Magazine, become a fan on Facebook or follow @SarasotaMagazin on  Twitter.

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