Thursday, May 2, 2013

Belle du Jour

(image taken from Cinematic Thoughts)

A number of weeks ago, I had a frenzied film viewing session during the Hulu free weekend featuring the impressive and provocative works of the Criterion Collection; early on in my media indulgence, I, finally, watched Belle du Jour with the beautiful Catherine Deneuve. The film comedically, but no less poignantly, chronicles the sexual awakening, and ultimately self awakening, of a young and restless Parisian housewife, imbued with ennui and frustration. French cinema from this period remains today delightfully refreshing, and, usually, is just as innovative and revealing of human nature and society as when they were initially released; there is a quality of endurance and truth. Belle du Jour plays with the classic madonna-whore complex, the conflict of a woman wanting to appease her partner, and herself, sexually without corroding the foundations of the relationship. Though a familiar trope, the approach is not trite, and is that wonderfully French attitude of playful and yet a bit dark. Ultimately, her adventures daylighting as a prostitute strengthens her sense of self and her marriage, in a manner that evokes a fairy tale ending, in convenience and ever-after happiness, but with a sardonic twist.

The film is an absolute must-see for any interested in French New Wave, or in Madame Deneuve; it is also a bastion of early mod French fashion, an aesthetic experiencing a remarkable resurgence, owed to the popularity of the most recent season of Mad Men

(image taken from The Style Notebook)

Classic camel trench coats always seem more stereotypically Parisian, compared to a red wool pea coat, but I admire the bold color and detailing that remains simple and sophisticated. I have worn a red wool coat the past two winter seasons, and it is the easiest way to elevate a mood when the weather is gray and drab.

(image taken from TCM)

Couching in such an overt disguise, thick black sunglasses and elegant black hat, matching her coat and purse, defeats any attempts at anonymity. The monochrome black and large, structured accessories serve only to draw the eye, invite scrutiny to her whereabouts and her intentions. Despite collecting vintage handbags for a number of years, I am still on the market for a clean, black leather box-like bag, similar to this chic design.

(image taken from Movie and Fashion)

The simple, understated elegance and luxury in outerwear continues. Any jacket that is trimmed with thick fur is delicious in my eyes and likely to incite immediate envy.

(image taken from So Hollywood Chic)

Simple black and white pairings have been the vehement rage this past season. Puritan chic has not quite established itself as a mainstream aesthetic, despite the rich historical precedence here in the United States, and, though quaint, I find the understated, clean cut refined.

(image taken from Piano Forte Girl)

Progressive pilgrim aesthetic continues; these low heel buckle pumps were an iconic staple in the 1960s, it is fitting that our heroine dons them as she dabbles in promiscuity.

1 comment:

  1. wow I love her outfits so much! I am obsessed with vintage clothing!