FASHION AND VERSAILLES, by Laurence Benaïm..extravagance, decadence and frivolity

FASHION AND VERSAILLES, by Laurence Benaïm..extravagance, decadence and frivolity qualities of sexuality, beauty, sophistication and elegance are things you need at the forfront of your mind when looking at style.

A stunning illustrated coffee table book with a foreword by Catherine Pégard is something to peruse at your leisure ….

FASHION AND VERSAILLES, by Laurence Benaïm – Jac Jagaciak photographed by Patrick Demarchelier in the Salon de la Guerre at the Palace of Versailles. She wears a dress from the Christian Dior haute couture Spring/Summer 2011 collection. © Patrick Demarchelier/Art+Commerce

The palace of Versailles – a hub of power and seduction, and the most legendary royal residence of all – is undisputedly the birthplace of fashion, for both men and women. The world’s first dress codes were established at Versailles under Louis XIV. Entwined with the whims and humours of queens and royal mistresses – from Madame de Montespan’s ‘innocent’ dress that was adept at concealing pregnancies, to Marie Antoinette’s extravagant wigs, to bejeweled courtesan slippers – the world’s eyes stayed riveted on fashion trends as they evolved at the French château.

Sartorial style at Versailles remains a vast source of inspiration for fashion designers, photographers, interior decorators and film directors today. From haute couture’s Sun King Karl Lagerfeld, to cinema princess Sofia Coppola, to the golden hues of Dior’s perfume campaigns, Versailles takes centre stage. A rich selection of images from historical documents, fashion house archives, and the latest runway shows and fashion exhibitions accompanies an enlightened text from esteemed style authority Laurence Benaïm. 

Christian Lacroix
FASHION AND VERSAILLES by Laurence Benaïm ..think extravagance, decadence and frivolity ©Christian Lacroix – Versailles et la mode – Flammarion

Published by Flammarion

Hardback £50 | 264 pages | 25.5 × 31 cm

200 colour illustrations | ISBN 978-2-08-020335-9

FASHION AND VERSAILLES illustrates how the spirit of Versailles continues to thrive in contemporary fashion inspiring passions and vocations in a new generation.

“Versailles is where fashion finds new beginnings, always, etched as it is in the footsteps of the lovely ghosts that kindle the dreams of couturiers,” says Catherine Pégard in her introduction. This stunning volume brings together a magical blend of cultural and social history and fashion at its best all set against the dramatic background of the most spectacular palace in the world.

Gleb Derujinsky
FASHION AND VERSAILLES by Laurence Benaïm ..think extravagance, decadence and frivolity – © Gleb Derujinsky A delicate confection of pale gray lace and pale pink roses cascading from waist to floor, by Pierre Balmain, 1953.

ABOUT THE AUTHORS: Laurence Benaïm, a journalist and writer, has written authoritative biographies of Yves Saint Laurent, Marie Laure de Noailles, and Jean-Michel Frank (Grasset, 2017) in her native French. A fashion expert, she has published many books, including Women in Dior: Portraits of Elegance (Rizzoli, 2016), Lancel: Parisian Maison since 1876 (Flammarion, 2016), and Christian Dior in the South of France: The Château de la Colle Noire (Rizzoli, 2017). She is the editorial advisor for Almaviva, the lifestyle supplement of the French newspaper Le FigaroCatherine Pégard is president of the public establishment of the Palace, Museum, and National Estate of Versailles.

  1. Coco Chanel said: Simplicity is the keynote of all true elegance…… have written a lovely review of the luxurious world of French fashion in this book and even through the qualities of decadence, frivolity, and extravagance there is a continual delicate simplicity that speaks to the lasting beauty of French design.
    Nicely done Gentlemans Butler…..

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