Friday, December 23, 2011

Hoyden of the Week - A wedding blooper

Hoyden Catherine Deneuve at her wedding to British photographer David Bailey

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Friday, December 2, 2011

Marguerite de Valois Quote

We shall all be perfectly virtuous when there is no longer any flesh on our bones.
Marguerite de Valois

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Hair styles of the medieval period

Hair adornments in medieval times 

Accessories used to Stylize Hair during Medieval Period

During medieval times it was difficult to imagine a person without headwear. Excluding the children, it was compulsory to wear head pieces whether they were men or women belonging to all ages. At that time headwears were not only decorative pieces but also played a part in defining people's etiquettes and elegancy, moreover it was a part of social standing of people in society.

We can say that the war for piece of land and supremacy had led to the emergency of headwears. Some coverings were used to protect the head from serious injuries which gradually enter into civilization. Since the beginning of medieval period, as medieval costumes headwears too were essential part of attire. Throughout the medieval history with the development in tailoring skill of people and technology, head covers too had gone through a great degree of changes.

During late medieval period, everyone in European country used to wear head pieces which in their modern avtar are equally famous among masses. It was allowed for Italian women to uncover their head while the women's of other countries cover their head with wimple, barbet and fillet.

16th century Italian woman

Fillet, a narrow head band was worn by unmarried women and by certain monks along with a wimple, it was a garment which underpass through chin to give support to linen cap or coif and a veil.

Another accessory crespines used to confine the hair from both side of head were generally made of wire or knitted mesh. During the same period, Italian women abolished the use of head wears with transparent head gauzes.

In today's times wimples are more common among nuns who are still attached to traditional way of wearing caps. In the meanwhile it was allowed for men to keep their head uncover.

With the beginning of fifteenth century, an era of expensive and extravagant clothes started which were huge and voluminous in size and gracious in look. To enhance the overall look of attire head coverings too became stylish, lased with jewelries and feathers. Crespines too come in its developed form, now they were used to gather hair in head's back. At that time Hennin was the most expensive hair-dress styled in styled in cone or steeple shape. This hair-dress had wired frame which was covered by fabric and had an attached veil. As for men, vest and doublets were more common. Their tall crowned hats with or without brims displayed their status in society.

Heartshaped Henin

Another Heart-shaped Henin

Truncated Henin

Conical Henin
When the renaissance era rises, head-wears also came in its best form. They were now more elaborate and had finely detailed designs. Emergence of different styles of renaissance costumes in different part of Europe led to the designing of more elaborative headgears to match their dresses. Gabble hood, a headgear had embroidered lappets was famous among English women.

Gabble Hood

French hood as the name suggest was famous in France. It was round in shape, worn over veil in back of head.

French Hood

Centrally parted hair was confined in veil.

Men wore large hats and German Barrett was popular among them.

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For more information on renaissance clothes, renaissance headgears medieval costumes and other accessories.


Thursday, November 24, 2011

Catherine Charlotte de Gramont

A woman of decadence who took to bed some of France's wealthiest men!

Catherine Charlotte de Gramont

I am Catherine Charlotte de Gramont and I was fortunate to be born in the year 1631 into a wealthy family of the French nobility.

 Marshal Antoine de Gramont
Catherine's Father

Françoise Marguerite du Plessis
Catherine's Mother  

My scandalous brother, Armand de Gramont, the celebrated Count of Guiche, was not only known for his haughty egotism and enchanting handsomeness, but also for his love affair with Philippe of France, Duke of Orléans and his wife, Henrietta of England. I shall leave you to make your own conclusions as I have made mine. He was brash, highly sexual, and charming, equally attracting both men and women to him. 

Armand de Gramont
Count of Guiche

In 1660, I was married to Louis de Grimaldi, the 2nd Duke of Valentinois and heir to the throne of Monaco. Prior to meeting him, he was described to me as a glorious and avaricious Italian. Throughout the years of our marriage, I would bear him six children.

 Louis de Grimaldi
2nd Duke of Valentinois
Catherine's Husband 

Two years after our marriage, in 1662, I became Princess of Monaco and travelled there where I remained for 3 years, however, I preferred Paris to Monaco and thus returned to the French court of Louis XIV where I was given the post of lady-in-waiting to Henrietta of England, sister-in-law and former lover of Louis XIV. It pleased me to be with my aunt, Suzanne Charlotte de Gramont, marquise de Saint Chaumont, who also served Henrietta as governess to her daughters, Marie Louise and Anne Marie.


Mistress of King Louix XIV

Life in the French court was not always easy, but I soon learned how to use my beauty and wits to gain attention. I took many lovers to my bed including King Louis, the marquis de Villeroi, and my favourit lover of all, my cousin, Antonin Nompar, Marquis de Puyguilheim.
When I resumed my affair with my cousin, Nompar, King Louis XIV was outraged, and ordered Nompar to stay away from me. But my cousin refused and the king sent him to the Bastille for six months. 

 King Louis XIV
Catherine's Lover

Duc de Villeroi
Catherine's Lover

Antonin Nompar
Marquis de Puyguilheim
Catherine's cousin and lover

Behind my back, they called me Catherine the Torrent and Madame de Sévigné dared to describe me as a woman greedy for pleasure.

Madame de Sevigne
Noblewoman of the French Court
Ever vigilant, soon, Henrietta and I noticed that King Louis was losing interest in his mistress, Louise de la Vallière and we saw an opportunity.
Louise de la Vallière
Mistress of King Louis XIV

With Henrietta's approval, I began an affair with the king, and during this time, my husband, Louis I, Prince of Monaco, left court and conveniently went off to fight a war for the king. 

You may think that this was all my doing, but it was not. Henrietta designed the plot in order to distract the king from Louise in the hopes that he would return to her bed.

Unfortunately, our affair did not last long. King Louis XIV left me after a few months, not to go return to Henrietta, but in favor of Madame de Montespan.

Madame de Montspan
King Louis XIV's Mistress
Gossips also whispered that I had an intimate affair with Henrietta, but this is a secret that I shall keep to myself and reveal to no one.

It was then that I began an affair with the Chevalier de Lorraine, a friend of the Duke of Orleans.

Chevalier de Lorraine

Our affair angered Henrietta and it ended our friendship. My affairs caused me to be banished from the court and so I fled to Monaco in 1668 with my husband.

In 1672, when France and Holland went to war, my husband was recalled to duty and I was able to return to my beloved France. Madame de Montespan gave me a position as her lady-in-waiting. The king gave me my own home in St Germain and I lived happily there until the day of my death on June 4, 1678.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Women - Don't Drive

My, my, how things have changed. We've come a long way, ladies!


Wednesday, November 9, 2011

The Highway of Heroes - A Tribute

The Canadian Highway of Heroes - A tribute to all our military loved ones

Here in Canada, when one of our beloved soldiers pays the ultimate sacrifice, he or she is carried from the airport to the military base along a stretch of highway from Trenton, Ontario to Toronto, Ontario. No matter the weather, even in sub zero storms, men, women, and children will line this route to pay tribute and pray for their fallen heroes on their way to their final resting place. The road has now been officially renamed as The Highway Of Heroes. May God Bless our Soldiers and their families for their sacrifice.

There is a heart-wrenching song that is being aired on radio stations across Canada about The Highway of Heroes. A band named The Trews has donated all royalties from this song to our veterans. The song is entitled "The Highway of Heroes" and can be downloaded on iTunes. Here is the music video version.

And let us not forget our courageous women

And here is one last tribute to our Australian colleagues


Monday, November 7, 2011

Edwardian Styles

Fashion Beauties of the Edwardian Era


Friday, October 21, 2011

Sophie Arnould Quote

Women give themselves to God when the devil wants nothing more to do with them.

Sophie Arnould
Opera singer

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Lucille Ball

A beautiful red head - 22 years in Heaven



Monday, October 10, 2011

Friday, September 30, 2011

16th - 17th Century Women's Fashions

A beautiful video depicting original women's fashions of the 16th and 17th century. I discovered it while researching one of my current works in progress set in 17th century Italy. With the exception of the iron corset, we are fortunate that these delicate garments have survived for so many centuries. Enjoy