Marie Antoinette has always stood as an icon of supreme style, but surprisingly none of her biographers have paid sustained attention to her clothes. Here, 18th-century specialist Weber shows how Marie Antoinette developed her reputation for fashionable excess, and explains through lively, illuminating new research the political controversies that her clothing provoked. Weber surveys Marie Antoinette's "Revolution in Dress, " covering each phase of her tumultuous life, beginning with the young girl struggling to survive Versailles's rigid traditions of royal glamour. As queen, Marie Antoinette used stunning, often extreme costumes to project an image of power. Gradually, however, she began to lose her hold on the French when she started to adopt provocative, "unqueenly" outfits that, ironically, would be adopted by the revolutionaries who executed her. The paradox of her tragic story, according to Weber, is that fashion--the vehicle she used to secure her triumphs--was also her undoing.--From publisher description.