I don't know if it's just the shows I've been watching, but Hulu has been playing the latest holiday Louis Vuiton commercial incessantly. I'm not complaining, I find it totally enchanting, replete with fantastic Louis the 18th inspired masqueraders, perhaps in subtle homage to David Bowie and "The World Falls Down" ballroom scene from Labyrinth. It features the song "I'd Rather Be High" from Bowie's latest album and I was actually disappointed to find the actual song does not feature a harpsichord as it does in the commercial.
However, rather than inspiring me to buy a gazilion dollar handbag, the commercial inspired me to dust off one of my old favorite children's books: The Lady With the Ship on Her Head by Deborah Nourse Lattimore. Lattimore's characters and illustrations are also inspired by the glory days of Versailles, and the story pokes fun at what becomes of us when we make ourselves slaves to fashion. The main character, Madame Pompenstance, is determined to win this years Best Headdress Competition at the fancy dress ball. While attempting to gather shells to decorate her hair, a small schooner sails right up to perch atop her 2 foot tall wig, and a very awkward day ensues.
I think this book inspired in me an interest in art history and historical fashion at a young age, especially discovering that women really did go to some outrageous lengths to out-do each others hairstyles, both then and today. I highly recommend this delightful read.