Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Inspiration: Catherine Deneuve in 'Belle de Jour'

Catherine Deneuve is one of many style icons I look up to, right up there with Audrey Hepburn. She's classy but seemingly has an aura of mystery and ice. For me, she's the quintessential French woman. Belle de Jour (1967) is perhaps one of my favourite movies and it is the first of her works I had seen. Yves Saint Laurent designed the costumes for her character in this film and from this collaboration, she became one of his muses and modelled for him.

 Catherine Deneuve plays Séverine Serizy, a wealthy housewife who's unable to be intimate with her husband. She becomes a prostitute in a high-class brothel and is called "Belle de Jour" there because she only works during the day. One of the many items I loved were the coats. They were tailored to her body perfectly and I particularly liked the military inspired coats and jackets she wore. I also loved the black pill hat.

I adore her shoes. The chunky kitten heel definitely gives off an elegance that a pair of Christian Louboutin stilettos cannot (but Louboutins are more empowering). Perhaps by today's standards, it's seen as a bit matronly but I think they're cute. The designer of the shoes is Roger Vivier, who is best known for the stiletto heels he created for Dior. Séverine wears these pair a lot during the film in different outfits. 

Roger Vivier pilgrim pump
One of my favourite outfits is this red ensemble she wore at the beginning of the film but I also think she wore the same outfit further into the movie. The jacket is an Eisenhower-style jacket that is double-breasted. It's been a while since I've watched the film but I believe it is a red shift dress underneath.

My favourite outfit has to be the last outfit in the movie. A black shift dress with white cuffs and collar is definitely channelling the demure schoolgirl look. Of course, we know Séverine is anything but... 

This time, her shoes are different. They're still a modest height but they're definitely a stiletto.

They've got a scalloped edge - makes a bland pair of black heels look cute. I would love to have a pair of heels like those too.

Among other Catherine Deneuve - YSL collaborations in films are La Chamade (1968), La Sirène du Mississipi (1969), Liza (1972), Un flic (1972) and The Hunger (1983). 

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