When Fashion is Your Muse – Part 3- (Fashionphile Focus)

If you love fashion, then I’m sure some part of you loves history- am I right?  Well, that’s certainly the case for me- period costumes will get me every time; whether it’s at the museum, online, or at the movies (hello Netflix).  Jaw-dropping gorgeousness that swifts you back in time…

I’ve grown attached (historically that is😉 to not only the fantastic outfits of the past, but also the ‘fashionistas’ of the time.  Creating a style that went hand in hand with their rank, but even moreso with their large personalities, these historical figures have also become my fashion Muses.

Setting the pace as human fashion plates, styling their looks according to their ‘personal stylists’ (more about these in another post!).  Ravishing, often decadent and certainly luxurious- the craftmanship of their garments has no such comparison.  Clothes definitely made to last!

So- without taking you into a History of Fashion course here (I could though- because that’s one of the courses I do teach!)- Here are some of my favourite historical figures and a bit about them- Check out their style!

Well, you just know I’m gonna start with Marie Antoinette, how could I not?!  Reigning queen of fashion, the beautiful and much- maligned queen of the French was hated from the beginning (primarily because she was Austrian) but also because she was thought of as an over-indulging and frivolous queen.  If you do drop Hollywood and read the real history- you’ll see that she was wrongly accused in so many ways- But, now onto fashion!  Yes- she was the ultimate fashionista with the most superb style (thanks to her stylist- for another post!)  Next…

Do you know Diane de Poitiers?  She was the gorgeous (and much older) mistress of the French King Henri II.  Known for her beauty, brain and style- this fashion icon led the scene even more so than the queen (Catherine de Medici) herself!  Her beauty potions to keep her young included washing her skin with pure gold ( and ingesting too…which leads to speculations about her death).  Next…

Madame de Pompadour (Louis XV’s mistress) was a breathtaking beauty.  Tending and doting on the King was a never ending, all-consuming task (due to his insatiable sexual appetite).  Not always upto it, especially since she was becoming ill and very frail- Madame de Pompadour still enjoyed the king’s company as he did hers.  But a king needs to be satisfied…What does she do?  She selects a group of young, very, very willing seductresses (that weren’t too bright at all).  Thus satisfying the king’s lusts without ever wanting to replace his mistress for he loved her mind so much.  (BTW, the king was not even aware of de Pompadour’s setting this all up!).  Oh did I mention (sorry for going astray there)- she was the best dressed lady in court.  Her fashion reputation still stands today. Next…

Veronica Franco the great Venetian courtesan of the 16th c was known (amongst other qualities) for her literary and artistic accomplishments.  But- we’re talking fashion- so!  Obviously wearing more audacious and seductive attire, courtesans of the day were ornately styled up!  Expensive and sought out materials adorned their bodies- and often set trends way before nobility and royalty…Not very difficult to believe if you think that their lovers were mostly men of the highest ranks who could muster up the most exquisite gifts at a whim in exchange for the courtesan’s art. Veronica Franco was also a mistress to King Henry III of France.  Let’s just say her wardrobe must have been over the top. Next…

Let’s get into history’s influencer muse…the Countess of Castiglione.  This beauty set up her own photo shoots- leaving a lasting  legacy that still follows her today.  The photo shoots were way ahead of her times, artistically speaking, and she made quite the reputation for herself.  She came from a highly aristocratic family.  Her beauty was immeasurable and so was her charm.  So much so that her uncle sent her to France to butter up Napoleon III to reunify Italy.  Suffice it to say that the liaison was short , but worked!  In the meantime, she made quite an impression as she became the icon to follow.  The French relished in her looks – she became known as the Queen of hearts- again, because of a famous photo-shoot (above left). Next…

Oh dear, have you heard of Marchesa Luisa Caschi? Eccentricity to the max! Muse to several artist of the early 19th c,  the Marchesa was an outrageous fashionista.  She collected a menagerie of exotic animals- and could be found walking them in the parks.  Anyway- her style was incomparable and trend setting as well! Next…

Looking for some good od Renaissance fashion.  Look no further than the utterly breathtaking Giulia Farnese (seductress to the Pope)- you may have seen her on the Borgia’s (but that’s Hollywood).  In reality, she was forced into that relationship.  And- being in a relationship with the most powerful man (probably on the planet back then – there was no higher rank)- Giulia got what Giulia wanted in exchange.  And what did Giulia love more than jewels and the latest fashion (not much more really).  Being the beauty she was- Giulia was the trend setting Madonna of the Roman hills; with a scandalous painting of her representing the Virgin… Next…

How can we look at historical fashionistas and not talk about Cleopatra!  Oh my goodness- this Greek sublimeness (yes she was Greek; from the line of Ptolemy- descendants of Alexander the Great)- No other woman on earth could have been more powerful.  She had first pick on everything and gold was her element of choice!  Ornate you say?  Who would I pick as her doppelganger…Cher of course!  What do you think? Next…

Leaving you with my two favourite historical women in fashion.  Starting with Alienore (Eleanor) of Aquitaine.  Power you ask?  Notorious Fashion Queen of the Mideival.  She was all about silk, fine wool and gems, gold…lots of gold.  Her beauty matched her unharnessed strength.  There’s a recounting of her while married to the French King Louis VII on their trip through Palestine during the Crusades, where Alienore rode with her ladies through battle, loose long hair looking like Amazons.  There’s so much to her power and strength, every girl and woman should read up on her. Next…

Lastly, Josephine Bonaparte- my all time favourite muse!  Impeccable style this Martinique beauty (the Rose of Martinique) was the Viktoria Beckham fashionista of the 18thc.  She caught Bonaparte’s fancy and that was it!  He made her Empress.  She is well-known for the ‘empire’ style dress (more on her stylist as well in a later post!) Empire because she was an empress.

There are more! But I didn’t want this post to be never-ending! If you want to see more, please visit my Historical Fashion Muses Board on Pinterest- can check it out HERE

Here’s just a glimpse:

#Confessionoftheday: There’s a bit of each of these muses in every woman I believe…but I’d rather just pick colorful elements from their fashion sense rather than their lifestyle- oof!



I love this blogging community so much! (Click on the Links below to see where I go read, comment and link up every week!)


The Ageless Style Link Up-  The first Monday of every month

Glass of Glam

Mutton Style

Pocket Full of Polka Dots

My Glittery Heart

Not Dead Yet Style

Away From the Blue

Robin LaMonte

Fashion Trends and Friends

Ask Suzanne Bell

Fashion Fairy Dust


Links a la Mode

I Do De Claire

Elegantly Dressed and Stylish

Walking in Memphis in High Heels and The Fashion Canvas

Shelbee on the Edge

Style Splash

Jenerally Informed

Not Dressed as Lamb


Jersey Girl Texan Heart

Living on Cloud Nine

Rosy Outlook

Seeking Sunshine

Straight A Style Blog

Granola and Grace

The Queen in Between

Coast to Coast

This Blonde Shopping Bag

Is This Mutton

Mix and Match Mama

Pastries Pumps and Pi

My Purple World


A Labour of Life

High Latitude Style

Doused in Pink and Curly Crafty Mom

Good Random Fun


Thursday Moda by Elegance & Mommyhood

My Bijou Life Online

North West Mountain Living


I also do a Link Party every Friday! Confessions of a Montreal Styling Diva

Sharing a Journey

Shelbee on the Edge

Nancy’s Fashion Style

Lizzie in Lace


10 thoughts on “When Fashion is Your Muse – Part 3- (Fashionphile Focus)

Add yours

  1. Very informative I’m familiar with Madame Pompador and Marie Antoinette but I didn’t know the stories of the other women legends. Thank you for sharing I really enjoy reading about art history as well as how it relates to fashion

    1. I’m crazy about how history always relates in some way to fashion! Thanks for reading and enjoying- made my day:) xx

  2. Marie Antoinette was so extra, what’s not to love…lol! And I adore anything medieval so Alienore of Aquitaine is right up my alley! There’s just something so magical about that entire time period.

  3. Oh wow Lucy! You’ve really done your research! This is so interesting and I really learned so much! Thank you for such a well thought out informative post! I love looking at the pictures and imagining the fashions from days past, but I’m glad I live today when it’s so much easier to get dressed!

    1. Suzanne- so true lol!! How simple it’s become! Can you imagine having to have maids to dress you cause it’s just too difficult? So glad you found this interesting!

    1. Dreamy Cleopatra- well she certainly did love gold! Such a fabulous icon. Happy to that you enjoyed my post!! xx

    1. Yes- can you imagine the exorbitant amounts?!! And everything practically made by hand- wow! Thanks Michelle xx

Leave a Reply

Powered by WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: