There are several people I admire for their personal style and fashion sense, but there is only one person I think I can call my lolita idol: Philippe I duc d'Orléans. Historians usually describe him cruelly as simply the court buffoon and most people (in my experience) only remember him as Louis XIV’s gay little brother. He is a much more interesting and admirable person than most give him credit for. He was indeed very feminine, smelling strongly of perfume and putting ribbons on himself anywhere he could fit them (deco, anyone?) He lived during my favorite period for French fashion (I like Rococo A LOT too, but something about 1680’s Baroque fashion enchants me). He preferred desserts and sweets over other types of food and always carried candy in his pockets. He would sometimes even show up to masquerade balls in a women’s gown. He wore lots of jewelry and had a huge collection. He also loved art and had a huge collection of that as well. His favorite home the Château St. Cloud, which was known for its impressive fountains, was admired by all who visited, and many even preferred it to the grandeur of the Château de Versailles. He also lived in the Palais Royal, and was very popular for hosting extravagant parties often. The people of Paris loved him dearly in contrast to their king, hidden far away at Versailles. He had the military victory of defeating William of Orange in the Battle of Cassel. After that his military career was abruptly ended; he was never allowed to outshine his brother. He started the Orléanist branch of the Bourbon dynasty and is the great great grandfather of both Marie Antoinette and Louis XVI, along with many others. If the French Monarchy were to be reinstated, it would be one of his descendants who would take the throne. Today little remains of his accomplishments. His jewelry and art collections were sold off after his death by his wife and descendants, and his beloved Château St. Cloud was destroyed in the Franco-Prussian war. No records were kept of his possessions and he kept no diaries. All that is left of him are the documentations in letters and engravings of those who were near him.
On the the pictures!
This is the Château St. Cloud after the war. One of the few photos of it.
note: despite what's written above, I rather like Louis XIV, I just think he made a crappy older brother most of the time.