Rock n Roll Decadence: the Versailles editorial
To believe that fashion is divorced from the real world and its contextual groundings is wishful thinking. It is, rather, entirely a symptom of the times and its moods. For the throng of travellers who visit Versailles for touristic pleasures (often musing on how remarkable such a feat would have been 300 years before), it is a place of altruistic merits. It is to educate, to conjure emotion and to bridge a connection to a most important minute of our history. A glorious slice of cake, if you will.
And as we are on the topic of cake – in its most tumultuous chapter, for which Versailles is popularly remembered, it was a symbol of imperialist tyranny and wonton excess, so befittingly caricatured in one young Austrian born French queen. She – with fantastic hair as perhaps her most enduring legacy – was thereafter imagined perpetually enveloped in pastries of every pastel shade. For this I very much prefer, to all others, the Marie Antoinette of Sophia Coppola creation.
Imagine, this young and unworldly small town girl, thrown into a world which was at once miserable in its confinement and monotony, and exciting in its glittering extravagance; what else would one do, but create one’s own world – a sanctuary – of beauty and indulgence. But of course, as with all perils of rock n roll decadence, all does not end well. It is this chaotic existence of devastating and beautiful extremes, that inspires art and fashion to this day.
For yours truly, as part of the manifestation of such inspiration: a leather jacket studded to the edge of practicality, and jeans destroyed to perfection, whose sex appeal lies in un-sexiness. As we all dress as we feel, almost unwittingly, the rule of the day is a rejection of decorum and the female figure ideal. Even without intention, we cannot help but nod to the socio-political climate of our times, nor make reference to history, or an experience, or a place.
Location: Château de Versailles | Photography: Louis Villers