France, land of romance, elegance, art, literature, and of course, fashion. Call it a stereotype or an idealized vision of the country, but whenever we think of France, it’s commonplace to see all these features as essential parts of their culture. And the medium where we can find all of these qualities is their great cinema, which only increases our perception of this country as a magical and unique place of high culture inspired by beauty.
French cinema is famous for its intellectual and sometimes intricate narratives, for paying way more attention to the dialogues and the plot than to technical matters, like special effects that distract the viewer from the core of the story. Somehow, the greatest directors in the history of cinema and the most praised ones belong to this tradition (I mean, cinema was born in France). But, beyond the perfect and artistic usage of camera, one of the things that have turned these movies into the epitome of greatness is their characters. These characters, and the actresses that portrayed them, have become icons. Naturally, the beauty of these goddesses and their sense of fashion still inspire people who want to embody their sophisticated lifestyle. So, if you’ve always wanted to become part of their world, here are some tips from French cinema you can follow to achieve it through fashion:
Get an edgy haircut to frame that simple and elegant makeup
The sixties were definitely the age of pushing boundaries, and for women, pixie cuts became a symbol of rebelliousness and edginess. Like Jean Seberg in Jean-Luc Godard’s A bout de souffle, you can adopt that bold look by complementing that haircut with a classic and simple makeup. Her style in the movie became an icon of fashion and beauty that's comprised by her sophisticated eye cat liner and bright red lips.
Straight skirts or dresses and heels can be your best weapon to achieve sophistication
Catherine Deneuve’s amazing performances and classic looks made her a muse for some of the most important directors in the history of cinema. Her collaboration with the highly acclaimed filmmaker Luis Buñuel in Belle de jour turned her into an icon of fashion and glamour. You can adopt her signature looks by wearing a simple pencil skirt or a knee-length dress and a pair of heels. Add a nice blouse and coat, and you’ll be ready to embrace the elegance of French fashion.
A classic black dress will always upgrade your look
There’s no doubt that the little black dress can be your best aide in fashion. Like Jeanne Moreau in Jacques Demy’s 1963 La Baie des Anges, you can combine that classic and iconic piece with a timeless coat and a scarf to live the classic and glamorous lifestyle of the European jet-setters.
Iconic sailor shirt and capri pants are a killer combo
Nothing shouts French fashion style like a simple striped shirt, a pair of fisherman pants, stilettos, and a nice beret. What was the signature uniform of mimes soon became a fashion statement that’s still followed by many. Once again Jeanne Moreau became a fashion icon in the classic François Truffaut’s film Jules et Jim by giving life to the bold and audacious Catherine and her tomboy style. Combine it with a nice oversized sweater for that killer outfit.
A nice coat and a scarf can be the best accessories
For most of the goddesses that starred in these films, their sense of fashion and sophistication wasn’t linked to expensive jewelry but to a classy and simple use of clothes. So, they made statement coats and intricate scarves their go-to accessories. Like Mireille Darc in Godard’s comedy Week-end, you can make these pieces your killer uniform.
For more ideas to mix the iconic styles of cinema take a look at these: