You Are What You See – A Commentary on High Fashion, Style, Sophistication, Glamour and the Business Genius of Louis XIV In “A Little Chaos” – A Movie Review by Gary S. Smolker
Posted by Gary S. Smolker
Updated October 19, 2014
The Eye Picks Up Clues As It Travels
Clothes do more than keep us warm.
Clothes are an extension of our personal style.
They are a key part of our taste and its expression.
Watching “A Little Chaos”, during its world premier at the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival, reminded me that people do judge you by the clothes you wear.
Each piece of our clothing in its own way makes a statement about who you are, about what your style and what your tastes are.
“A Little Chaos” is a visually spectacular movie about a style obsessed monarch who was also a business genius (King Louis XIV).
Louis XIV took great pleasure in the conspicuous display of gorgeousness, style, beauty, the newest fashion, opulence, conspicuous consumption of luxury goods, and the creation of must see places, such as the grand gardens at Versailles.
Watching this movie is an artistic experience.
Visually, everything in this movie is spectacular.
Each scene superbly showcases objects of the greatest quality, rarity and beauty.
The clothing many characters in this move wear rises to the level of art.
The clothing wore by the nobles in this movie are dazzlingly beautiful objects to look at.
The detailing and impeccable tailoring of the garments King Louis XIV (played by Alan Rickman) wears in this movie are unforgettable.
Although the garments worn by King Louis XIV in this movie were created and worn in the 1600s, today, over 300 years later, they are still beautiful and unbelievably magnificent. They make you think, WOW, where can I get that now.
The trees, fruit growing on trees, flowers, terraced hills, engineered waterways, gardens and the clothes worn by the characters in this movie all play a significant part in the story being told.
King Louis XIV wanted his grand gardens at Versailles to be a “must see” tourist attraction — and they are.
They were created under Louis XIV’s direction to display his power and style at a time when he was the world’s most influential, creative and imaginative promoter of style and artistic expression.
Upon their “completion” they were simultaneously opened to the public and became a “must see” tourist attraction.
From that point forward, elaborate parties and affairs of state have been conducted there; they have been called the Eighth Wonder of the World.
In this movie the audience is shown these visually glamorous grand gardens being built and planted.
The movie ends when one section of the gardens (that section designed in this movie by Madame Sabine De Barra) is completed.
It Helps to Have Resources
At the time King Louis XIV created these gardens, Louis XIV did not have to fill out loan applications or prepare investment prospectuses for potential investors in his projects. He had enough money and power to command and to employ whomever he wanted in his kingdom to do what he wanted.
He had the power to decide and the “power to be right” – he had the power to make his own decisions without being overruled by anyone.
He had enough money and power to make sure things were done the way he wanted.
Also, and most importantly, he also had the ability to listen to people who were “able.” He used that power to great effect.
He listened to people who “knew their ‘stuff’, to people who knew what they were talking about.
He listened to people who knew how to do things.
King Louis XIV desire to own things of breath taking beauty knew no bounds.
His imagination and creative ideas and desire to possess “one of a kind” things of great beauty gave him no rest.
In keeping with all of the above, King Louis XIV hired the most talented landscape architect of all time, Andre Le Nostre (aka Andre Le Notre), to design and build the gardens at the Palace of Versailles.
King Louis XIV convinced Le Nostre to set his sights on more ambitious horizons – to create gardens that would be the most spectacularly gorgeous gardens in the world until the end of time.
The Gardens at Versailles
The grand gardens at Versailles were designed for beauty, elegance, usefulness, and to be timeless by Le Nostre.
They were designed to be the most stunning spectacular gardens in the world and to be maintained for King Louis XIV’s own personal narcissistic gratifications of being the one owning them.
When they were completed, Louis XIV knew he had done something eternal in creating those garden. He knew those gardens would turn him into an icon.
They immediately became the setting for every occasion Louis XIV wished to turn into a demonstration of the power of his monarchy and the wonders worked by French technology.
[ASIDE: When Louis XIV moved into his new dream home at Versailles, with his family, his ministers and the entire court in tow, 36,000 men and 6,000 horses were still deployed on the construction site.]
Establishing Social Status By Making A Breathtaking Fashion Statement
These gardens are not a bunch of plants planted in someone’s backyard.
Hills and valleys were cut and filled and terraced; swamps were filled; rivers were diverted; and a great number of pipes were custom made by hand and lovingly laid to create these gardens.
They are the end product of the highest most advanced level of the civil engineer’s and landscape architect’s arts.
They have character and panache – a dash of flamboyance and style – that are sublime.
During this movie, Director Alan Rickman shows the audience mountains at Versailles were cut and terraced, pipes were fashioned and laid with loving hand crafted precision, and flowers, bushes and trees were chosen and planted with great passion and expertise.
In his (this) film, Director Alan Rickman shows us the detail with which these gardens are/were put together, the purposefulness with which they were created, the passion to make something that would give pleasure that went into making them, in every detail – the whole spirit of them.
The flowers and trees and bushes in these gardens are beautiful in all seasons due to the choice of plants planted.
Aura and Presence
Watching “A Little Chaos” will remind you, if you need to be reminded, that people will judge you and your aura by more than the quality of the clothes you wear.
- Each piece of clothing displayed/worn by the nobles in “A Little Chaos” is showcased as fine art.
- Every piece of the nobles’ clothing is in a certain way an art object.
- Every detail in their clothing is like fine art.
- Their clothing is refined, it’s elegant, and it is very beautiful.
- Those garments look as good today as they did at the time they were made.
- They are ageless.
- The gardens themselves are each an absolutely impressive truly original creation.
Beyond that, this movie makes it clear that these gardens are one of a kind in terms of their presence and magnificence, with all that implies in terms of social status.
Louis XIV achieved immortality by creating monumental must see works during his reign, such as these gardens.
A Work of Art about A Work of Art
As a result of Alan Rickman’s superb direction, “A Little Chaos” is nothing less than a work of art about a work of art.
It is a movie which proves that a picture is worth a thousand words and that good design is timeless.
Unrelenting & Frenetic Opulence
In his movie (“A Little Chaos”), director Alan Rickman captures the sophistication, style, spirit of pleasure, competitiveness, values (each person in court strove to outshine the other by wearing more stylish clothes than everyone else) and desire for luxury, luxury goods, luxurious living and glamour in King Louis XIV’s court.
- The garments worn at King Louis XIV’s court in “A Little Chaos” are extravagantly elaborate, of high style and bespeak wealth.
- They have a distinctive look which is a reflection of a the wearer’s privileged life.
- It is obvious that Louis XIV encouraged the nobles in his court to try to outdo each other in efforts to wear the most stylish sumptuous clothing.
Director Alan Rickman also captures the essence of what King Louis XIV aspired to be and the thinking that drove King Louis XIV to create the grand gardens at Versailles.
- Louis XIV wanted Paris and France and Versailles to have the image as being of the epicenter of high style, sophistication, glamour, luxury living, and of graceful elegance and tasteful opulence.
- Louis XIV believed his immortality would be assured by the body of creative work produced during his reign as King of France.
- King Louis XIV personally made sure that all the buildings and gardens that he built were so obviously monumental that they were certain to remain conspicuous for posterity and simply had to be seen.
- Not only did great things happen under Louis XIV’s reign, he made them happen.
- In this movie, King Louis XIV is shown unrelentingly living a life full of glittering glamour, luxury, fashion, and extravagant spending on beautiful things.
Dazzlingly Luxurious Living
Virtually under Louis XIV’s royal decree, France embarked upon the most extraordinary age of creativity and luxurious living in it history.
Louis XIV is the person who made the diamond what it is today.
He loved diamonds.
He turned his clothes into a pretext for wearing diamonds.
On one over garment he showed off at least 1,500 carats of diamonds.
One of his day wear outfits featured 125 buttons, each fashioned from a single diamond. Louis XIV also wore diamonds on his show buckles and garters.
He was the original male peacock.
His diamond mania succeeded in making the display of glittering gems an integral part of attractiveness.
It is said that at the candlelit dinners at Versailles woman’s hairdos seemed to be virtually on fire with diamonds.
Diamonds were the part of Louis XIV’s personal fortune closest to his heart: In the early 1690s he decreed that the magnificent silver furniture (all twenty-seven tons of it) and solid gold plate settings that had dazzled visitors to Versailles be melted down to get money to pay his troops, but refused to part with any of his diamonds.
Due to Louis XIV’s influence (love for diamonds), in the late seventeenth century shopping for fine jewelry became an integral part of the Parisian experience.
By the end of the seventeenth century, fashions in jewelry, like fashions in dress, were decided by designers in Paris.
At the beginning of the seventeenth century, the English crown jewels were the richest collection in Europe, but the by beginning of the next century, the French owned nearly all the greatest stones in Europe, and the English collection was so impoverished that for the coronation of George II, in 1727, many of the diamonds adorning the crowns had to be rented.
Louis XIV created the modern jewelry business.
Some people (myself included) believe that Louis XIV’s understanding that life is art and emphasis on style and fashion were a masterstroke of economic genius and that Louis XIV was the most farsighted creative businessman of all time, more farsighted and better able to see the future than Walt Disney and Steve Jobs.
It can be argued that without the fabulous things that Louis XIV’s passion for style inspired his subjects to create and his extraordinary spending on the luxurious and glamorous goods manufactured and/or designed in France (1) the luxurious experiences for which France is known today would not have come into existence, (2) and without them, tourism and luxury goods would not be France’s top industries today, (3) France would not be the dominant force in the luxury goods and fashion industries which it is today and (4) Paris would not be the destination place to go it is today.
Watching “A Little Chaos” will bring you head to head and face to face in intimate contact with King Louis XIV’s astoundingly intense focused attention to detail; his creative vision and his extraordinary marketing and image making brilliance.
In “A Little Chaos”, Director/Screenwriter/Actor Alan Rickman showcased Louis XIV’s buoyant grace, exceptionally high level of ambition and deliberate and elaborate image making.
“A Little Chaos” is a 116 minute fashion-art-and-culture show of the highest level of originality in which flowers in full bloom, fruit trees bearing fruit, hills and valleys being cut and filled, swamps being filled and a great swatch of raw land being terraced and then turned into magnificent gardens as well as rich elaborate garments worn by the members of King Louis XIV’s court at royal festivities and while touring his gardens are as much a part of the story being told as the dialog of the principal characters.
As the movie progresses, the exquisite impeccably tailored magnificent garments Mr. Rickman wears throughout this film, as he plays King Louis XIV of France, create the unforgettable impression that Louis XIV was an extremely powerful ruler who loved luxury, style, fashion, glamour who happily and brilliantly exercised his absolute power with gusto and the purpose to create a country that would make people all over Europe declare “The French have style. Their style and sense of fashion make them glamorous and beautiful.”
When the reign of King Louis XIV began France had no particular association with elegance, by its end, the French had become accepted all over the world as the arbiters in matters of taste and style.
Nightlife which is now seen as the essence of glamour and fun did not exist before the reign of King Louis XIV.
Before Louis XIV’s reign there were no street lights in any cities in the world. All cities became pitch black at nightfall.
Before the reign of Louis XIV, no cities glittered after sunset. Instead they were plunged into darkness.
In 1667 that changed. By Louis XIV’s royal decree 2,736 lanterns were installed in Paris – positioned on and throughout each of the 912 streets of Paris.
Paris quickly became the original ville lumiere, the first city in the world where public life did not stop at sunset; for the first time life both outside and after dark did not stop.
Paris became the first city that never seemed to sleep.
The minute these lanterns were lit, Paris at night came into existence, and a completely new and glamorous way of experiencing cities came into existence.
After the streetlights in Paris were installed, people went shopping at night, people went to cafes and shows at night, etc. etc. etc.
The installation of street lights in Paris changed the world of shopping and world of nightlife for all time for people who live in or visit cities.
Installing street lights in Paris made Paris the destination place to go shopping.
Nightlife and nighttime business flourished.
Street lighting and business go hand in hand: shops, restaurants, cafes and theaters in Paris flourished under the newly possible extended business hours.
As soon as Paris began to sparkle at night, the beautiful people began to indulge in high-end shopping after dark and foreign visitors naturally followed suit by shopping at night as trendy Parisians were doing.
Recognizing the Need to Create Dazzling Experiences
To make Paris more outstandingly beautiful, and to add a touch of elegance to the Seine, Louis XIV imported hundreds of expensive white swans and had them placed in the Seine so that Parisians and visitors would see them as they strolled along the most popular street in Paris (the Cours-la-Reine) displaying their beautiful fashionable clothes and also see them as they traveled by coach from Paris to Versailles.
Louis XIV made Paris unsurpassed by creating landmarks that had to be seen, landmarks so fantastic that someone from a foreign city would believe they had to come to Paris to take them in.
Guidebooks prepared visitors for a “dazzling new experience”: arriving in Paris was like “suddenly coming out of the shadows into bright daylight.”
One of the guidebooks, published in 1692, rates street lighting as one of the wonders of the modern world: “This invention alone is worth the trip, no matter how far away you live.”
For the first time ever it had become possible to shop until one dropped, travel now included a new way of spending nocturnal hours.
Foreign visitors descended on fashionable Paris and wrote letters home comparing Paris to their native cities.
Recognizing the Need to Create Aesthetically Pleasurable Experiences
Under Louis XIV’s patronage, formerly everyday experiences were transformed into performance art.
Many of the finer things in life became just that, no longer “mere things” but finer aesthetically pleasurable experiences.
Louis XIV understood that being “good” or “exquisite” wasn’t good enough.
Louis XIV understood, atmosphere (glamour) is important, i.e., the way in which the plate and food are displayed is as important as what is placed on the plate.
[ASIDE: During the reign of Louis XIV, cooking and eating began more and more to be thought of no longer as simple necessity but as a domain in which sophistication was possible and desirable.]
Louis XIV’s elaborate banquets began a process which resulted in France becoming a culinary world apart; eating became one of the finer things, no longer a “mere thing” but a finer aesthetically pleasurable experience.
Thanks to Louis XIV’s extravagantly luxurious lifestyle, France acquired the reputation as the country that had written the book on elegant living.
NEVER UNDERESTIMATE THE IMPORTANCE OF ELEGANCE AND STYLE
King Louis XIV’s program (as portrayed in Alan Rickman’s film “A Little Chaos”) to redefine France as the land of luxury, glamour and creativity – by changing the cultural world we live in – has been a fabulous success.
In a nutshell, in “A Little Chaos” the eye and imagination travel in historical time and space to the time when France became the epicenter of culture, fashion, sophistication, glamour and the art of luxury living.
Modern businessmen, since the reign of Louis XIV began, have to offer their customers something more than a good product; in order to stand out businessmen of all kinds have to make their customers feel special by providing a heavy dose of emotion along with their merchandise and/or service.
After the connection between street lighting and commerce became obvious other rulers took notice.
In 1620, Amsterdam became the second capital city to introduce street lighting. Street lights were first installed in Berlin in 1630, in Vienna in 1687, in London in 1694 and in Geneva in 1793.
Dialogue in “A Little Chaos” takes place between the characters in words that bristle with visual possibilities, words that lend themselves to visual excitement.
In one, of many memorable scenes, a female gardener – while wearing the modest clothing of a gardener – asks a magnificently dressed courtier while he is escorting her down the grand staircase in the main ballroom at the Palace of Versailles at a party hosted by King Louis XIV at his Palace at Versailles:
“Why is everybody looking at me? I am nobody.”
The courtier replies:
“That is why everyone is looking at you.”
Use of Sex to Move this Movie Along
At that moment, in this film this female gardner (whose name is Madame Sabine de Barra) is a fictional character added to this film to provide sexual tension to this otherwise sexless story.
Madam de Barra is portrayed as Andre Le Nostre’s brilliant, provocative assistant and as a woman who challenged sexual barriers and class barriers in 17th century France by being a woman with passion and intensity who woke up in the morning with desire to reject the status quo and come up with something better. She was obviously a gardener extraordinaire and landscape architect.
Shortly before that moment, Andre Le Nostre had been hired by King Louis XIV to design and construct the grand gardens at Versailles.
Of historical note:
- Before Versailles was a palace with grand gardens, it was a swatch of untilled countryside dotted with ponds and swamps.
- The earth-moving required to make the slopping ramps and raised terraces at the grand gardens of Versailles, designed by Le Nostre, would be daunting with modern earthmoving equipment. In Le Nostre’s time, earth moving work had to be done with pick, shovel and wheelbarrow and the labor of thousands of men.
- Excavation of a Grand Canal in the grand gardens designed by Andre Le Nostre, was begun in 1668.
- Once constructed, fifteen gondolas sent by the Venetian Republic that were used in possessions and festivities in the Grand Canal by Louis XIV.
- The Grand Canal was also used by Louis XIV to put on naval demonstrations and mock battles
- Most of the festivities marking the status of King Louis XIV’s reign took place in the grand gardens of the Palace of Versailles.
- Moliere’s plays were enacted and Lully’s music was performed there.
- Upon completion, the elaborate fetes at Versailles, with their theatrical extravaganzas on both land and water, fireworks, and great feasts, were all enacted in the gardens.
- Versailles has played a wide variety of roles, occupying the center of French history and the world stage many times (including site of the official ending of World War I), since it began its evolution to the magnificent palace of palaces in 1661, at the command of King Louis XI.
- Looking at these seminal gardens today, their iconic design and magnificence remain as alluring and pure as ever.
- They beckon you to come in to have picnic on one of their lawns, and to get a sense of what the good life was all about more than 400 years ago during the reign of King Louis XIV.
- They feel aesthetically right.
This movie begins shortly after Le Nostre is awarded the commission to design the King Louis XIV’s grand gardens at Versailles.
As the movie progresses, we watch four applicants being interviewed by Le Nostre to serve as Le Nostre’s assistant on that project.
One of the applicants we watch Le Nostre (masterly played by Matthias Schoenaerts) interview is Madame Sabine de Barra (charmingly played by Kate Winslet).
At this interview, Madame de Barra is attired in the modest attire of a gardener.
The other three applicants are (each male) landscape architects attired in exquisite clothes.
Each of the four applicant’s clothing powerfully communicates the ideas, opinions and beliefs of each applicant – captures the real truth of who that applicant is – i.e., what you could reasonably expect from each applicant if you hired him or her to help you design and/or to landscape a garden.
The three male applicants are attired conventionally and are conventional.
There is nothing conventional about Madame de Barra.
On her way to her interview, she passes through a court yard full of potted plants.
She does not like the way the potted plants are arranged. She moves the potted plants in the courtyard around as she walks through the courtyard.
Le Nostre observes her doing this.
Her sense of purpose was an overwhelming differentiator.
At her interview she provides Le Nostre with a portfolio of detailed plans of gardens she had designed and built which prove to Le Nostre that she has done imaginative and aesthetically perfect work – work which when looked at from any angle is an impeccably flawless sophisticated work of landscaping.
It is obvious to Le Nostre that Madame de Barra is a master of balance and form and has courage audacity and good taste.
Le Nostre knows, from his own experience, that she possesses the capabilities and capacities to face the challenges his assistant will face.
Le Nostre knows:
- that that the courage to create great work, and fight to protect it, at all costs, is not generated in the head … it comes from the heart and soul;
- that timidity leads to mediocrity;
- that there is no such thing as a cautious creative;
- that in Madame de Barra, he has met a another landscape architect brimming with talent, brimming over with taste, and endowed with invincible personal conviction;
- and that Madame de Barra is his soulmate.
In this movie, Andre Le Nostre and Madame de Barra are each a truly original person who defies convention.
Le Nostre describes Madame de Barra as “a tiara among the weeds.”
Great Communication Holds Audiences Spellbound
Alan Rickman is a great communicator.
There is no empty ostentation in this movie.
Each character in this movie wears superbly conceived clothes.
The magnificent garments King Louis XIV wears in this movie adds to the sense that this is a real king.
Every detail of King Louis XIV’s impeccably crafted exquisite garments adds to that sense.
In your mind’s eye they become instantaneously connected to your brain and heart.
You will never be able to get them out of your memory.
Whomever did the costuming in “A Little Chaos” should win the Academy Award for costuming.
I “promise”, if you watch “A Little Chaos” you will never forget the exquisite garments Alan Rickman wore (as he was being dressed) and Stanley Tucci (wore in court as court dandy) or the pearl studded gloves Le Nostre’s wife (played by Helen McCrory) wore.
“A Little Chaos” displays film maker Alan Rickman’a taste for decorous elegance and inimitable sense of style.
The dialog, screenplay, acting and costuming in “A Little Chaos” are superb – a riveting and moving melange of colorful, fascinating characters, and ideas captured in an irresistible mix.
Kudos and congratulations for a job done exceeding well to Director/Film Maker Alan Rickman; Screenplay writers Alison Deegan, Alan Rickman, Jeremy Brock; Cinematographer Ellen Kuras; Editor Nicolas Gaster; Production Designer James Merifield; and principal cast Kate Winslet, Matthias Schoenaerts, Alan Rickman and Stanley Tucci.
Watching “A Little Chaos” is an enveloping and spectacular visual, emotional and intellectual experience.
History provides a lexicon of subjects, stories and ideas to be mined.
In “A Little Chaos” Alan Rickman shows how to artistically mine that lexicon.
If you are one of those people who have “style”, who believe we are put here for the joy of it, if you believe totally in romance, love, pleasure and beauty, the “elegance” of the grand gardens of Versailles will hold you.
They have been bedazzling people for more than 400 years who found being in the grand gardens of Versailles is an intoxicating release from the banality of the world.
Testament to Imagination
Just as the grand gardens of Versailles are a powerful representation of who Louis XIV was, similarly, “A Little Chaos” is a powerful representation of who Alan Rickman is.
“A Little Chaos” is a testament to the imagination, audacity, good taste, brain power, creativity, directorial skill, screenwriting skill and acting skill of Director/Screenwriter/Actor Alan Rickman.
“A Little Chaos” has staying power – it will stand the test of time – because it has a beauty all its own, and no age.
This is a movie that will make people talk and think about creativity, good taste and the importance of elegance and style.
Copyright © 2014 Gary S. Smolker
About Gary S. SmolkerPERSONAL PHILOSOPHY: No enterprise can exist for itself alone. Every successful enterprise ministers to some great need, it performs some great service, not for itself, but for others. Otherwise, it ceases to be profitable and ceases to exist. Imagination, open mindedness and flexibility are the most important factors in unlocking potential. Those who embrace innovation, improvisation, continuous learning, time management, are action oriented, high energy, passionate, creative, purposeful and intense individuals are best equipped to succeed. We all have ideas and the ability to make progress by sharing information and our ideas and also by changing our ideas when appropriate. We should always be on the lookout for teaching and mentoring moments. We hold time like water in our hands; however tightly we clench our fingers, it drips away. But, if it falls on a seed, a seed may grow to become something that will have a positive social impact. PERSONAL INTERESTS: I have a passion to learn, to innovate, to lead, to mentor and to teach. I seek to write things worth reading and want to do things worth writing about. I enjoy (a) driving a fast car, (b) having intense conversations (c) teaching/mentoring, (d) reading and (e) being involved in productive activity. PERSONAL: I believe in cultivating and backing passionate people, innovation, and old fashioned good ideas. I love making human connections and spreading good ideas. I am strongly motivated to achieve in situations in which independence of thought and action are called for. PERSONAL GOALS: I want to live life vibrantly, to be as sharp as a tack until my last breath and to change the world by being me. My personal goal is to be fully engaged in life, to lead by example, to set high standards and to continue to amass firsthand experience and knowledge in all that interests me. PERSONALITY: I love fun and mischief. I relish absurdity. I have an irreverent, facetious and satiric disposition. I dread boredom. I have spent a lifetime reading. I have no bias against people who have lived successful and/or complicated lives. I write to release tension, to get things off my chest. SOCIAL MEDIA: I post articles on the "Gary S. Smolker Idea Exchange" blog at www.garysmolker.wordpress.com, and "Dude's Guide to Women's Shoes" at www.dudesguidetowomensshoes.com. I also post images and comments on Instagram @garyspassion. CONTACT INFORMATION: Gary Smolker, Smolker Law Firm, 16055 Ventura Blvd., Ste 525, Encino, California, 91436-2609, USA. Phone 1-818-788-7290, e-mail GSmolker@aol.com.
Posted on September 25, 2014, in Uncategorized and tagged "A Little Chaos", 2014 Toronto International Film Festival, ability to see the future, absolute power, advertisements, advertising, aesthetic endeavors, aesthetic rapture, Alan Rickman, Andre Le Nostre, Andre Le Notre, arbiter in matters of taste and style, art, art form, artistic experience, artistic expression, audacity, beauty, brilliance, brilliant woman, business genius, catalyst, character, clothes, clothes that rise to the level of art, clothing as an overt and potent emblem of contemporary living, command, conspicuous consumption, costumes, costuming, court life projection of power, craftsmanship, creative, creative businessman, creative energy, creative experience, creative process, creativity, cultural space, cultural world, cultural world we live in, culture, decadence, decorative arts, designer, directorial skill, distinction, distinctive, elaborate fetes, elegance, emperors, eternal, exacting sense of symmetry and scale, exceptional rarity, exquisite clothes, exquisite garments, fashion, fashion and identity, fashion and power, festivities, fetes, flamboyance, foresight, France, free-spirited, frenetic opulence, fun, functional beauty, galloping imagination, gardener, gardening, gardens, genius, glamour, good taste, gorgeousness, grace, graceful, graceful bouyancy, graceful opulence, grand gardens at the Palace of Versailles, great wealth, handcrafted creations, Helen McCrory, high fashion, high style, icon, iconic, iconic design, iconic symbol, identity, image, imagination, immortal, immortality, impeccable tailoring, imperial, imperiousness, inspiration, inspiring, intoxicating release, intoxicating release from the banality of the world, Kate Winslet, kings, landscape, landscape architect, landscaping, lanterns, lifestyle, Louis XIV, luxury, luxury goods, luxury trade, Madame de Barra, magnificent living, master gardener, Matthias Schoenaerts, minds constantly in action, monumental, muse, must see tourist attraction, narcissistic gratifications, opulence, paintings, panache, Paris, passionate minds, perfect, perfection, personal style, power, power to be right, power to buy, power to command, power to decide, priceless paintings, priceless sculpture, privilege, privileged life, quality, quick-witted, rarity, relentless, Sabine de Barra, sculpture, Seine, sex, shaping each other, social status, societal attitudes, sociological structure, sophistication, spirit, splendor, spontaneity, Stanley Tucci, starstruck world, status, status symbol, Steve Jobs, street lights, style, sublime path to happiness and fulfillment, surprise, swans, taking infinite pains, taste, tasteful opulence, the Eighth Wonder of the World, the freedom of nature, the inspiration behind iconic design, the Palace of Versailles, the power of aesthetics as a tool for creativity, the power of imagination as a tool for creativity, the power of sex as a tool for creativity, the power of taste as a tool for creativity, the power of wealth as a tool for creativity, the relationship of fashion art and power, the romance of decadence, timelessness, Toronto International Film Festival, tourism, tourist attraction, unconventional, utilitarian objects, visionary, visionary designer, visual, visual experience, visual impacts, visual qualities, vivid rendering of the creation of the grand gardens at Versailles, Walt Disney, wealth, wealthy people, what is art, white swans. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.