Summer Re-run: Francoise Hardy: Style as Inspiring as Her Music
It's time to leave my family and friends in Canada and fly back to England, so I'm posting another article from when The Swelle Life was a baby, about my favourite style icon, Francoise Hardy.
Let's go back about 40 years or so to the heyday of Francoise Hardy - 'The Yeh-Yeh Girl from Paris' - French singer, actress and muse. A strong yet beautiful voice (still) with looks and style to match (still), making her one of the most influential French style icons to date. Her sideswept, eye-grazing fringe, well-defined features and Courreges wardrobe (Andre Courreges was apprentice to Cristóbal Balenciaga in 1950, while Hardy is muse to Nicolas Ghesquiere, current creative director of the Balenciaga brand) created the look that designers and fashionistas are continuing to emulate today.
Ah, isn't that true style? How many of us can look back to when we were younger and not cringe? And let's see how many of today's Hollywood 'icons' will be identified as such in even five years' time. So few are able to endure to become legendary icons; it's that extraordinary combination of innate coolness, raw talent, unique beauty and that certain 'je ne sais quoi' that makes others follow so faithfully. And that's why we love them.
Francoise Hardy most certainly possesses that irresistable spirit, it comes through in her music and her images and bang, you're hooked. Yet another reason I adore French culture, Paris is the mother of the enigmatic woman.
Here's a live version of Voila from 1967 (she was 23). Francoise looks incredible as she finishes the song, stands there for a few seconds then skips coyly off the stage (and her look is over 40 years old yet hasn't dated whatsoever, I'm in awe):