Marie Antoinette is perhaps the most colorful personality from French history who met her sad end at the peak of the French revolution. She has gone down in history as a muse to fashion designers past and present for her extravagant taste and decadent lifestyle. At a recent auction of French Revolution Era artifacts in Toulan, France, a pair of Marie Antoinette’s dainty slip-on shoes was bought by a fashion collector who finally paid over £36,000. This would easily put it in competition with some of the recent most expensive shoes for women. The final price was 14 times more than the reserve price fixed for the shoes whose ribbon details have faded over the centuries.
It is believed that the French Queen wore the glamorous shoes during the Fête de la Fédération on July 14, 1790, the first ever Bastille Day celebration. The heels, a size 3.5 were most likely worn with a white gown and a headpiece covered with matching tricolor ribbon and feathers. Marie Antoinette was an Austrian Archduchess who was married to the heir apparent to the French throne at the age of 14. The wedding ceremony held in 1770 witnessed unmatched pageantry. When her husband Louis XVI became the king of France in 1774, his young queen threw herself into a decadent life of extravagance.
She definitely was a style icon of her times, abandoning the heavy makeup and elaborate dresses, popular that time to a more simple and feminine look. Though many of the incidents related to her life like the ‘let them eat cake’ one are concocted gossips of the time, they have made her into one of the most prominent names of the French Revolution era, and that would explain the impressive amount her shoes fetched in the auction.