Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Retro beauty: Bardot

Once in a while I like to feature retro women of style: women from the past whose individuality and self-possession continues to inspire and delight.

I usually focus on great style. But with Bardot, that's virtually impossible: she is so rarely photographed fully clothed.

It's easy to think of her as just another sex kitten, but I suspect that this particular bombshell was much more than that.

Coming into her own in the 1950s, she would have been an innovator, presenting female sexuality and sensuality to the world with a new, raw, and undeniable power that was very different from the mystique offered by the Dietrichs and Kellys and Hepburns of the world.

To me, Bardot is in some ways the quintessence of French femininity: intense and seductive, almost off-puttingly confident in its sensual power, yet somehow demure despite itself.

(Not to mention beautiful. Oo la la.)

In life, Bardot has been a walking contradiction. Open, sexual, caring (she is a well-known animal rights activist), yet incendiary in her right-wing political tendencies. Either way, she's always provocative.

Her film career is characterized by French films with hilariously translated titles, like Please Not Now and Plucking the Daisy, aka Mademoiselle Striptease.

I'm featuring her here as beauty inspiration, rather than style inspiration. Now I'm not saying we should strive to achieve her, uh, 18-inch waistline (good God). But I love how natural her beauty remains, despite the industrial-strength application of eyeliner and mascara. Somehow the balance of tousled hair, natural lips, clear beautiful skin, and dark smoky eyes works. What's more: it's very hot right now. I wonder what Bardot thinks of that?


At 4:53 AM , Blogger Marina said...

Hi. Your blog is great ! I leave in France and I love fashion. If you enjoy shoes, take a look on my shoes
Marina (from France)

At 2:29 PM , Blogger bobbysan said...

I'd like to pluck her daisy! yummy french rhubarb!!!

At 6:42 AM , Blogger whyioughtta said...

Yes Marina, let's exchange links. I'll add you to my vendors links...

At 3:37 PM , Blogger jackp said...


god bless rhubarb

At 6:27 AM , Blogger Kav said...

That B&W photo is...sauce.


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