From the first appearance of the mini skirt to mod-inspiring styles, the 1960’s were known for breaking traditions, with clothing styles going through radical changes. With the influence of British fashion, and the breakout of style icons like Twiggy, as well as the emanation of Parisian beauties like Catherine Deneuve, there was plenty to be inspired by the ’60s.
— CATHERINE DENEUVE —
Numerous books, magazine columns and web posts have been dedicated to the graceful style of French women, and if anyone deserves the greater part of the credit for that, it’s Catherine Deneuve. Not only has she grasped natural glamour with her typical trench coat looks, chandelier earrings, and humble heels, her timeless blonde beauty and an air of mystery, made her the iconic Parisian woman.
Described as reserved, enigmatic and secretive, the French film actress always had her hair impeccably coiffed and her eyeliner immaculately applied. Likewise, her trademark image included a thick mane of blonde hair and a ubiquitous cigarette in her hand.
PARIS, FRANCE – Actress Catherine Deneuve, 1964.
With her increasing success, the golden girl of French cinema also became very well known as the muse of famous designer Yves Saint Laurent, whom she met on the set of Luis Buñuel’s film, Belle de Jour in 1966. The classic style of clothing of the character from their first movie collaboration is still iconic today for its eternal femininity.
Deneuve was later chosen by Empire magazine as one of the 100 Sexiest Stars in film history (#38), and that was in part due to her cagy posture. She also became known as the “ice queen” of French cinema thanks to iconic roles as a twin in Les Demoiselles de Rochefort and as a psychopath in Roman Polanski’s Repulsion. Moreover, an authentic model for French splendour, her image was used to represent Marianne, the national symbol of France, from 1985 to 1989. An interesting fact is that Deneuve’s ads as a spokesmodel for Chanel No. 5, caused sales of the perfume to soar in the United States.
To this day, with 133 films, 16 Vogue Paris covers and a myriad of photoshoots with the world’s greatest photographers, Catherine Deneuve became a muse for the world of cinema, fashion and photography.
Twiggy is best evoked as one of the first international supermodels and style icons in the world, a muse for the youth population and a fashion icon of the 1960’s, as well as the face of London’s “mod” scene. From her debut, at 16 years of age, her looks were based on three qualities: her stick-thin figure, a short boyish haircut and extraordinarily dark eyelashes.
She had her career breakthrough when she was named The Face of 1966 by the Daily Express newspaper and voted British Woman of the Year. She soon appeared on the cover of many leading fashion magazines, including Elle, Vogue, and The Tatler, and by 1967, she had modelled in France, Japan, and the US.
Twiggy’s adolescent shape was the perfect starting point for the androgynous styles that began to emerge in the 1960’s. The trend was manifested in numerous elements: sweet A-line dresses with collars and ties, suits and dresses that took their details from military uniforms, or, in the case of Yves Saint Laurent, an explicit transposition of the male tuxedo to women.
Ultimately, Twiggy became so beloved in America that she even inspired her own Barbie doll. Extra Twiggy merchandise soon followed, including a board game and a lunch box. Admirers would even copy her characteristic eye look with their own set of Twiggy fake eyelashes. Her timeless beauty surpasses the decades and her style remains in the vanguard of fashion for women of her age. She also started a fashion line called the “Twiggy London” collection and has begun a fashion blog to discuss fashion-like themes.