…this passage about Marie Antoinette strikes me as poignant:
She sported towering bouffant hairdos, including the “inoculation pouf,” a forbidding confection that featured a club striking a snake in an olive tree (representing the triumph of science over evil) to celebrate her success in persuading the king to be vaccinated against smallpox.
And that wasn’t all:
Later, while in mourning for her father-in-law, Louis XV, the new queen wore a pouf garnished with a tiny cypress tree rooted by a black tangle of ribbons, as well as a sheaf of wheat and a fruit-filled cornucopia, promising a bountiful new reign. Topping all previous efforts, in 1778 she wore an exact replica of La Belle Poule, a French battleship that had just sunk an English frigate, riding the swelling sea of her hair. “Behold the coiffure of our Queen, whose perfect taste is therein seen,” began one poem of the day.
The whole bit reminds me of something Lady Gaga might do. I searched and, sure enough, Gaga has taken a leaf out of Marie A.’s stylebook, although I don’t think she can compare: