Literature and poetry sings of the beauty of the women of Arles going back to Antiquity. Myth and reality, encouraged by some famous advocates, have contributed to strengthen this claim.
The women of Arles in return enjoy perpetuating the legend by carrying off their traditional dress better than elsewhere.
Daudet, Mistral, Léo Lelée, and other admirers gave life to the figure of this proud, gracious and elegant woman, of whom the Queen of Arles is a renewed incarnation.
The Arlesian traditional dress appeared at about the mid-18th century, born from a desire amongst the women of Arles to dress differently to other women. Arlesian traditional dress developed under the influence of Parisian fashion and the times: the droulet, Louis Philippe, Napoleon III costumes, not forgetting the mark made by Léo Lelée.
It took its final and purified, or modern form, at the end of the 19th century. Today, the costume is worn for festive occasions. The hairstyle using the famous ribbon appeared around 1835.
It is during the Festival of Costumes on the first Sunday of July that the people of Arles wear their most beautiful costumes.