Sunday, February 19, 2017

From Tennis to Terror

From The Sydney Morning Herald:
In Roberto Rossellini's film of 1966, The Taking of Power by Louis XIV, there is a scene in which the King appears in an outrageous red outfit, all frills and flounces, designed to his own specifications. He explains that with this clownish costume he is setting a dress code to keep his nobles poor, and divert their attention from politics to fashion.

It sounds absurd, but it worked. Louis XIV ruled by theatre, turning the palace of Versailles into an enormous stage set where every aspect of daily life was transformed into ceremony. Etiquette was everything in this hermetic environment, and a social faux pas could spell the end of one's brilliant career. (Read more.)

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