Saint Tropez, Eternal Icon from the Jet Set

Paul Signac made a canvas of it. The New Wave made him a muse. Brigitte Bardot has made a myth of it.

Saint Tropez, at the beginning of the last century, was only a village when Paul Signac discovered it. Attracted by its light and its wild landscape, the painter does not hesitate for a second – he invites his friends to spend the summer of 1904 there. Among them, Matisse. Touched by this timeless decor, the painters of the new century sketch Saint Tropez using colors and dots. Before them, Maupassant, plying the Mediterranean aboard the Bel Ami, was also swooning; “This is the corner that I love the most. I love it as if I had been born there, as if I had grown up there” he wrote in 1887.

We do not know if Boris Vian, Juliette Gréco and the others got wind of these notes or if it was another breeze that led them to make Saint Tropez their summer neighborhood. What does it matter since before BB, here is the Saint-Germain-Dés-Près gang in search of radical chic in the streets of this village on the Côte d’Azur. They stay at the Hôtel de La Ponche. They even manage to open a jazz club there – Paul Eluard, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Simone de Beauvoir… All of them attend the frenzied oxen at Club St-Germain-Prés-Près La Ponche.

The myth of Saint Tropez owes everything to Roger Vadim and Brigitte Bardot. 1956, he made the village and the beach of Pampelonne the filming location of the scandalous and iconic ‘Et Dieu… Créa La Femme’. The impression on the spectators is such. The vogue of Saint Tropez is launched! Henri Salvador sang love there in 1959. Five years later, the monokini fashion came to life there. We wander barefoot between its rupestrian streets, just to show our freedom of mind. We travel its waters in Riva boats. We play pétanque with the locals. But above all, we enjoy a festive atmosphere, without limits. Eddie Barclay thus attracts all the gratin during his memorable white evenings in his Villa Du Cap Camarat.

It is because the landscapes of Saint Tropez lend themselves to life like no other. At the heart of this same villa, ‘La Piscine’ with Alain Delon, Romy Schneider and Jane Birkin completes the making of Saint Tropez the eternal icon of the jet set. In the 1970s, at the Byblos Hotel, Bianca Perez married Mick Jagger in a white tuxedo by Yves Saint Laurent. Iconic. At Club 55, Grace Jones, Elton John and Cher make the legend of Tropezian nights. And today? We dance with the same lightness at Caves Du Roy. Pampelonne beach has regained all the pleasure of its wild luxury thanks to Philippe Starck for La Réserve Ramatuelle. Then there is the Sénéquier. Guarantor of the effrontery of Saint Tropez, since 1887. Where you can taste tarte tropézienne, nougat or iced chocolate, leaning on Kate Moss, Rihanna or Jacques Chirac. Must have!