June 16, 2018

Style Icons Part II

Next up is the inimitable Brigitte Bardot. Roger Vadim's debut film And God Created Woman (1956) turned Bardot into an international star. You can imagine the film title and Bardot being interchangeable  and maybe they actually are because she married Vadim in 1952, albeit briefly, apparently she cheated on him.  In 1958 according to Bardot's wikipedia, the moniker "sex kitten" was invented for her. Speaking of an animal (no pun intended), Bardot's love of them has now become her raison d'etre.

One part style icon, one part sex symbol, Brigitte Bardot set the standard during the 1960s and 1970s. Women around the world still want to dress and look like her. A couple of Bardot's doppelgängers are Anna Ewers and Claudia Schiffer. The trends she started in her heydey--  everything from the bikini to the Bardot neckline -- continue to have enduring impact. Some of Bardot's best looks were the most simple. She knew how to make everything look sexy.

Since Bardot is still a brunette in first photo above, means the 'Bardot neckline' started early in her life. She singlehandedly made off-the-shoulder casual, chic. The neckline has spanned the decades since and has been a big trend again in the last couple of years. 

Bardot is well known for the bikini and popularized it for the American market who in the 1950s still found it risqué. Of course the French embraced the bikini sooner. They have never been afraid of their sexuality or at least not in recent centuries.
Bardot knew the power of a hat. She wore them both to the beach and out and about.
Couple other style points are that Bardot liked flats, ballet flats in particular. She was a dancer growing up and I am sure that is where it came from. Bardot even collaborated with Repetto in 1956, asking them to design flats that mimicked true ballet slippers intended for dancers. Repetto was still popular in New York when I lived there in the late 80s and 90s. I think they sell directly to Bergdorf today and they also have an online presence. So my hunch is that Bardot helped put them on the map and they have stayed. Which leads me to another style observation from this photo. Bardot is a fan of gingham check. It's innocent quality is a nice contrast to her sexiness. It actually made her look sexier if that makes sense.
I love this gingham check wedding dress Bardot wore when she married Jacques Charrier. So prim and so sexy.

A lot of Brigitte Bardot's enduring style is that nothing you find her in in photos from that era is really dated. The clothes have a timeless quality. Another reminder to stay away from trends (once in a while is ok) and develop a signature style that stands the test of time.