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Database: Rose Bertin

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ACU Rose Bertin

Born on July 2, Rose Bertin became known as Marie-Antoinette's "minister of fashion". *
* Now there's a job I'd be good at.
She opened her first boutique, Le Grand Mongolian, when aged 22 in the very chic Saint-Honoré neighborhood.**
** I wouldn't say my French is perfect, but on first glance she seems to have named her shop The Big Mongolian. If I'd been her minister of fashion, I think I'd have advised her to change that. I don't care how big the Mongolian in question was. He could be massive. It's no excuse. Who's going to shop at The Big Mongolian?
She soon diversified her offering to include bonnets, mantelets, pelisses, bows and shirred veils. The Queen was enthralled by such refinement and, with Rose Bertin's help, set about transforming the Versailles dress code. Dresses were simplified to allow women greater freedom of movement, in particular by abandoning panniers, which were considered too cumbersome.***
*** I'm sorry to go on about this, but you just don't name shops after random enormous Mongolians.
Rose Bertin's success and popularity soon brought her an international clientèle from cities as far afield as Koblenz, Brussels, London and Saint-Petersburg. It was thanks to this diverse base of customers that she managed to survive the Revolution. She left France during the Reign of Terror, and would only return in 1800.

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