Style À la Victime

Style À la Victime

Marie Antoinette’s last words were apparently “Pardon me Monsieur, I meant not to do it”.  The Queen was not talking about her wrongs, but her unfortunate treading on the executioners foot on her way to put her pretty little neck under the Guillotine.

The Guillotine is a symbol of the French Revolution. Both men and women lost their lives to it and in total claimed approximately 16,500 necks during this reign of terror. The most famous, of course, our dear Marie Antoinette. Later into the revolution, a style named à la victime or “like the victim” became popular among the teenagers of the period. A ribbon, predominantly in blood red velvet was tied around the throat to sympathise with those whom had their head severed at this precise point. It was also popular to shear off ones tresses just as the executioner would have done to his soon-to-be victim.

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This was a time of celebration – the old Government was out – the Revolution had succeeded! Vive La France! was cried throughout the streets. Parties reigned for both the alive and the dead. It is the latter party I am on the search for today in Paris’ Père Lachaise Cemetery. The party I am looking for? The dance of the Victims or, en Français, The Bal à la Victime. This Soirée was held in celebration of those who had died mercilessly at the swing of the Guillotine. Only the family members of the deceased were invited. They donned black arm bands and neckties – I am sure you have seen this tradition? In Australia it exists predominantly in sports culture – but nonetheless it is a sign of acknowledging someone dearly departed. The soirée’s were to celebrate life in such a bloody period; such was the French Revolution. It is an endearing subject I come across in history time and time again. We must celebrate the fact we are living for we know they shall end… hopefully not by Guillotine!

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Wearing Zimmermann skirt, very similar one here, here and here | Vintage lace Mantilla style headdress here and here | Sweetheart neckline singlet (similar here)

I used beautiful dried roses for this shoot, I recommend leaving for about 5 days before they reach this lovely point in their life.

As always, books are the most important accessory! To read more about the Bals des Victimes have a little gander at the following:
Le Bal Des Victims
By Pierre Alexis Ponson Du Terrail

 

6 thoughts on “Style À la Victime

    1. Thank you so much Lori. It is a topic we all must deal with at some point and it is interesting to see what others have done before us. Thanks for your comment!

  1. Wow, speaking as a professional photographer who is massively into the darker side of portraits, I must say that I absolutely LOVE this set. Everything from the outfits to the vibe of the photos are amazing! I definitely just liked your Facebook page and I look forward to seeing more! <3

    – Jasemine Denise

    1. Hey Jasemine-Denise – thank you so much for that compliment, it means a lot to me! I shoot/direct/model all simultaneously so it’s great to have feedback on the artistic quality. I look forward to checking out your work now! 🙂


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