I have asked John Kirkwood to review this book:
Brigitte Bardot: My Life in Fashion
Henry-Jean Servat, Brigitte Bardot
It may seem slightly odd to bring out a book about fashions worn by an actress who was well known for wearing no clothes at all on screen.
Bardot says that le style Bardot is her style which is to say that there is no style at all as she wears what she feels like at the moment. However, it was impossible in the late fifties and early sixties not to see girls who were clearly influenced by her on almost every high street. The gingham dress or Breton sweaters and jeans crowned by the disarranged ‘choucroute’ hairstyle piled on top.
Bardot never really followed fashion, she was a complete individualist and in so being created a look which became her style. For some of her films she was dressed by Givenchy, Dior, Chanel, Balmain and Cardin but in her private life wore designs by the House of Real and Jacques Esterel who made the famous pink gingham dress which was copied everywhere. In the seventies she was very enamoured of the gypsy cum hippie look of Jean Bouquin. At one time she went to Coco Chanel because she so admired the Chanel dress worn by Delphine Seyrig in Last Year In Marienbad and wanted one like it. In one of her best roles in La Verité she wore clothes which she herself had bought from Monoprix, the French version of Woolworths and in other films would quite often wear clothes from her own wardrobe.
As a long term practioner of ‘Bardolatry’ I found this to be a very well-constructed book which takes us through the evolution of Bardot’s non-style with many wonderful images which still remain fresh today.
Now in her eighties and devoted to her Foundation which benefits animals Bardot when asked about her style today says ‘I don’t dress up anymore!’
It’s funny. Some people try so hard to cultivate a style, and it doesn’t go anywhere. Other people aren’t trying at all, and yet they still become icons for everyone else. That’s probably not only limited to fashion.
Think you are right there.