Brigitte Bardot, Fashion Icon

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Brigitte Bardot, Fashion Icon

Her smoky eye and casual hair epitomize everything Bardot style. A style that comes first from an attitude – incandescent and spontaneous – which has set up a number of pieces in icons!

In the preface to the book which celebrates  Le Style Bardot , by Henry-Jean Servat, Brigitte Bardot writes: “I dressed as I did my hair, as I liked it at the time. I wore elegant dresses from top designers, but also lovely unconventional bohemian outfits, things that I found by chance and that were becoming fashionable! I am proud to have created a style that never goes out of fashion since I have never been in fashion! “

Because this is the essence of the fashion icon that was Brigitte Bardot – the audacity of a woman against the grain of conventions, especially women.

Brigitte Bardot Style And Fashion Houses

If the Bardot style and first that of  the effortless , the icon of the 60s and 70s was also dressed by the couturiers of his time.

Bardot and Les Couturiers

Bardot and the couturiers is first and foremost a story of the times. In the 1950s and 1960s, it was indeed to the house of Christian Dior and its New Look that the young Brigitte Bardot turned.

Discovered in 1949 in the front page of ELLE magazine, Brigitte Bardot often plays the role of models. That same year, for the house of Dior, she embodied a voluptuous and very elegant femininity in this dress signed by the hand of Monsieur. A dress called Miss Dior.

Because at the dawn of the 60s, it is in dresses and skirts with infinite ruffles that Brigitte Bardot likes to be seen. For ceremonies, galas or receptions in the four corners of the world, the woman who has not yet sent the conventions of the upper middle class to waltz shows herself in Dior creations.

A vermilion red dress, like in 1957 for a gala in Munich. It was not uncommon to see Brigitte Bardot around the legendary Dior boutique at 30 Avenue Montaigne.

The other favorite couturier of Brigitte Bardot is Pierre Balmain. With the Jolie Madame line , she relies on this outstanding couturier to embody some of these roles. As in 1956, in the film “La Mariee Est Trop Belle”.

But now, the thunderous 60s heralded the advent of a whole different Bardot. Figurehead of an emancipation which sent the codes of the bourgeoisie and the pieces that go with them waltz, Brigitte Bardot will carry new couturiers well in phase with their time – she becomes BB.

Having become a global phenomenon with the film “Et Dieu Créa la Femme” by Roger Vadim in 1956, Brigitte Bardot will embody rather than initiate the Youthquake.

This is how she will in turn feature couturiers of the caliber of Yves Saint Laurent, or Paco Rabanne. Paco Rabanne who, in 1966, tailor-made a dress for him from his favorite industrial material.

With Yves Saint Laurent, Bardot shares a taste for simple but emancipating pieces. The tuxedo , the pea coat and so many other icons of the house, Brigitte Bardot will make her iconic pieces. In 1968, she appears in Saint Laurent at the premiere of Shalako, in London.

But it is to the couturier Jean Bouquin that she entrusts her style from the mid-60s – a more groovy and hippie style that accompanies her from Saint Tropez to the cinema screens!

She writes: “The one who knew better than anyone how to dress me, to crumple me, to show off me, to disguise me, to strip me, to sexify me, to adorn me and to confuse me.” The unique, the only, the irreplaceable Jean Bouquin.

These sumptuous fabrics that he twirled around my body, goddess adornments, spider-like silks Jean covered me with “scarves-dresses”, Indian “mini-maxi”, Afghan chains, “pants- skirts”, in soft and tangy colors. He was the inventor of this extravagant so-called hippie fashion that I wore with so much joy, which stuck to my skin for so many years and which is now back in force in all the newspapers in my fashion!

The Vichy And Jacques Esterel

Speaking of its fashion precisely, it is to Brigitte Bardot and Jacques Esterel that we owe the enthronement of the gingham. And what an enthronement! Designated the most beautiful woman in the world, Brigitte Bardot has seen her actions be scrutinized and copied around the world.

Incarnation of the incandescent woman, free and out of category, her marriage in June 1959 to actor Jacques Charrier obviously made the front page of the press. But now, leaving the town hall that day, Bardot once again capsized the conventions with a very unconventional wedding dress.

Cut in a pink and white check print, topped with a small English lace Peter Pan collar, lined with a loose petticoat – Bardot’s wedding dress is then a gingham print dress. Until then reserved for tablecloths and other traditional table linens. Brigitte Bardot and Jacques Esterel have created a new aesthetic revolution.

The dress came from the workshops of the Faubourg Saint-Honoré of Jacques Esterel. He said that he wanted a piece as refined and daring as those of Marie-Antoinette. “I designed a dress that reminded me of the little shepherdesses of the 18th century.”

And if Bardot-style daring is now recognized around the world for having laid the foundations for a fashion and an attitude that has become the norm, it has not always been well received.

This Brigitte Bardot herself confided in one of them. “At the Elysee, among others, in 1967: invited by General de Gaulle to a reception of arts and letters, I arrived with my hair down, in trousers and military jacket of operetta with frogs. His wife couldn’t see me. “

Never mind, Brigitte Bardot had become BB all over the world. At the cinema, in 1963, in ‘Le Mépris’ by Jean-Luc Godard, she made the headband an icon of the 1960s. An icon of the modern style itself, since even today many of her pieces which passed to the era for stylistic daring have become timeless basics.

Above all for his street clothes that the Bardot style is anchored in the collective memory.

Bardot Style In The City

Thigh High Boots, Repetto And Bardot Collar

In the city surely more than on the screen, the Bardot style has established itself as the model to follow. Speaking of model precisely, before becoming one, Brigitte Bardot intended to become a principal dancer. Having trained as a ballet dancer at the Paris Opera, Brigitte Bardot inspired a ballerina who has become iconic.

It was at her request that Rose Repetto imagined the legendary BB ballerina, also called Cinderella. A ballerina that Bardot initially intended for her role in ‘Et Dieu Créa La Femme’, by Roger Vadim. A ballerina which is the first Repetto creation intended to be worn in everyday life. Bardot wore it well every day!

“She was the spark that started it. People wanted to have the same product as her. She has become a symbol of the emancipation of women. It broke with the codes of the time” declared Jean-Marc Gaucher, current CEO of Repetto.

In the same vein, it was Bardot’s adoration for wide-necked collars that imposed fashion, along with his name to this sensual line. Bardot collars were indeed the very attribute of the Bardot style – sensually revealing the neck and shoulders, they underlined the Bardot fiery without ever exaggerating it.

This is not the only attribute of the Bardot style to the city. On her, a simple t-shirt looked crazy. In fact, she was often seen simply dressed in jeans and a t-shirt – walking barefoot in the streets. A casual chic that finds, perhaps, an even more resounding echo in the thigh-high boots.

A true cultural phenomenon, Brigitte Bardot has popularized more than one piece. When Serge Gainsbourg wrote to her to see her perform the song Harley Davidson, he played it in thigh boots. But Bardot did not wait for Gainsbourg to put them on.

She appeared already dressed in these boots, real shoes of the female emancipation of the 60s! But it is really Brigitte Bardot’s Riviera style that has widely spread the idea of ​​a woman who “doesn’t need anyone” to decide how much her body is exposed.

The Riviera Style At La Bardot

And this is what Brigitte Bardot left as a legacy to women around the world. Her Riviera style which, we can say, was sketched in 1953 in “Manina, La Fille Sans Voiles” by Willy Rozier.

Released in 1953, the film greatly contributed to democratizing the bikini. Because until then, on French, Italian or Spanish beaches, women saw themselves controlling the length of their swimsuits. Banned in 1949, it is gradually rehabilitated in the face of the enthusiasm caused by this film. Before Ursula Andress in “James Bond against Dr. No”, Brigitte Bardot had already imposed the bikini on the screen!

And in the city – accustomed to Saint Tropez since her childhood, Brigitte Bardot contributed to the advent of the small fishing village in high place of the jet-set. In 1956, she embodied all the ardor of the young girls of her time in “And God created woman”. The Riviera style was born.

Because, in the city as on screen, Brigitte Bardot has made corsair pants, sailor sweater and barefoot her iconic outfit for strolling through the Provençal village. By dint of stolen photos, or editorials, like the one made in Saint Tropez by Willy Rizzo, in 1958. Her eminently sensual silhouette in such simple pieces ended up making a School.

We can no longer imagine a holiday locker room without these essentials.

Finally, Brigitte Bardot remains a source of contemporary inspiration for fashion houses, girls and women around the world. Casual and casually glamorous, she embodies the emancipated woman in a mixture of sophistication, masculine-feminine and laissez-faire, all in all very French.