Influence of Versailles on Luxury

Influence of Versailles on Luxury

Although many years ago, the events that occurred at Versailles have shaped our current society immensely. Many may think of Louis XIV as a king, a ruler and monarch of France. And despite the fact he of course was all these things he was an even more important influence in the world of luxury.

Before Louis XIV transformed Versailles to the grand palace we know today, it was a much simpler chateau. But when Louis XIV took his residence, he made Versailles the center of Luxury. Not only did he move the French government here, he also made it the place to be for the French Nobles. He transformed the palace into a showplace for the crème de la crème of not only Fashion but also art, music, theater, landscape and cuisine. The luxury splendor did not stay within the walls of Versailles but reached far beyond the palace. Louis XIV created a luxury industry including furniture, clothing, jewels and textile, work that employed one-third of working Parisians. He also introduced a renewal of fashion twice a year, which set the stage for fashion shows nowadays. By the end of his rule, Paris was the reigning fashion capital, overruling Madrid, and still does today. The highest quality fabric and materials were to be found in France. Because of this, people from all over the world followed the style that originated from Versailles and this led to high-society fashion, which dictated the tastes of society. They did not only copy the French style, but also the French language and cuisine.

Besides setting the stage for Paris as the capital of luxury, Louis XIV created some trends in mainly fashion that we still know today. Along with popularizing the three-piece suit, he also took the lead in wearing heels. He wore them as a sign of prestige and expense and loved red-heeled shoes, beating Louboutin in the game by more than 300 years. They drew attention to his feet and it symbolized “the elevation of his court above the rest of humanity.”

Written by Claire Boerma


Chrisman-Campbell, K. (2015, September 1). The King of Couture. Retrieved November 11, 2018, from

Robb Report. (2017, September 7). What He Wore. Retrieved November 11, 2018, from

Versailles. (2018, July 11). History. Retrieved November 11, 2018, from