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The infamous queen of style

by Han Zhang

Staff Writer

For fashion fans who harbor a love of vintage looks, “La Vie de Marie Antoinette” should prove an inspiration. Arranged in sections to reflect different aspects of her short but significant life, this exhibition charts the rise and fall of the infamous 18th-century Queen of France through portraits, illustrations and a number of antique accessories such as brooches, perfume cases and fob watches. Also on display is an original painting by Riyoko Ikeda, author of the popular Japanese comic series, “The Rose of Versailles.”

Regardless of whether Marie Antoinette really said of the starving French peasantry “Let them eat cake,” she did spend much of her life gambling and acquiring expensive dresses. Unfortunately, very few of those dresses survived the French Revolution, during which she herself was executed. Visitors will be able to take photos of five replica Marie Antoinette dresses, which will be on display in a room designed to appear like the Palace of Versailles’ Hall of Mirrors.

During the exhibition’s run at the Sogo Museum of Art in Yokohama, visitors can also gain free entry if they bring a rose with them on Oct. 16 (the date of Marie Antoinette’s execution) or on Nov. 2 (the date of her birth).

“La Vie de Marie Antoinette” runs till Sept. 2 at Nagoya City Museum; Sept. 15- Nov. 18 at Sogo Museum of Art, Yokohama, and then Nov. 29-Jan. 20 at the Museum of Art, Ehime in Matsuyama. It then moves on to the Okinawa Prefectural Museum & Art Museum, Fukuoka Prefectural Museum of Art and the Hyogo Prefectural Museum of Art, Kobe. Ticket prices vary from ¥700 to ¥1,700. For more information, visit www.marie-monogatari.com.