So the summer holiday is booked and now there’s nothing left to do but countdown until that wonderful moment when your alarm clock wakes you up at 5am to catch the flight that was mortgages cheaper than the flight leaving after the sun itself actually rises, because that’s just how evil travel companies get in summertime…
Naturally, girls tend to start planning their beach wardrobe, oh say, two months in advance…
I’d just like to take the opportunity to thank my Mum for walking in on me yesterday as I was in between bathing suits during my annual assessment of ‘how many 5 mile runs will it take for me to look good in this piece of string?’
I’m tempted to try out one of these vintage style one-pieces the fashion mags have been plugging all spring..
People assume one-pieces are for girls that have hairy stomachs… (or something like that)
Boys: Would appreciate your opinion on girls wearing these one-pieces however. Thanks.
Bikinis and one-pieces from the 50s and 60s used to have cones inserted in the bra-top for a rounded cone-like boob shape.
I went into my favorite vintage shop yesterday to find an entire rail of cone-shaped bra tops. I was tempted. What do we think?
Fun fact: A 4th century mosaic wall was discovered in Greece depicting girls dressed in what looks like the modern-day bikinis.
If anybody must get credit for popularizing the bikini in the world it is French actress Brigitte Bardot.
The image below of actress Jacqueline Bisset spawned the wet t-shirt contest craze.
Basically, the best thing about summer holiday is that you only really need to get half dressed…
Above and below is my favorite 60 supermodel Veruschka. She was an Yves Saint Laurent muse, her most famous image can be found at the bottom of my blogs above “Le Tour”.
Occasionally, it’s also nice to actually wear clothes…
Nope, sorry, I refuse to stop imagining that I live in the sixties.
Let me introduce my style icons du jour who will be getting us in the mood for summer vacation today…
That’s right. Be one with nature. Until the soles of your feet could light a match.
If you can’t find a boat, not even a row boat, at least put on a damn sailor shirt.
Don’t be the daft one that flat packs a brand new hat in your suit case.
Quite simply, because anywhere else other than on holiday, you’d be laughed at.
As a kid you were probably teased for them, but today, it means you’ve got that whole ‘natural look’ going on. Plus guys find them really hot.
Embrace the freckle.
Use with caution. Common sense required.
Whether it’s looking like a wet dog as you emerge from the sea, having a frizz to repel men from all walks of life or simply realizing that wind and long hair is not as fun as they make it look in the movies– we all have issues controlling our manes in summertime but it’s just part of the fun. Experiment with head bands à la Brigitte above, slicked back like Ali MacGraw and Charlotte Rampling below. Just don’t go for the Bo Derek braids. Maybe next year.
The DOs and DON’Ts of Achieving the Seasoned Skier’s Confident Swagger
DO act like you’re excited to go skiing. Even if you’re a total amateur and likely to break a leg before the end of the trip, try to look perky and enthusiastic at the top of the slopes before you possibly plunge to your death.
DON’T fall victim to the cowboy-meets-astronaut ‘ski boot stride’. Walk like a normal human being.
DO pretend that you didn’t just take that embarrassing dive down the slope and violently fill your mouth with snow. If no one saw you fall– it never happened. Casually look up the mountain as if to say “I’m waiting for someone”. Slyly recuperate.
DON’T eat the yellow snow.
DON’T do this:
Keep your form (and dignity) in check:
DO have a decent-looking passport photo on your ski pass. It’s visible for all to see; have some self-respect.
DON’T tuck your bulky ski trousers into your boots. My own mother embarrassed me for years doing this, just be considerate of the people that have to ski with you.
DO be prepared to hear endless talk about skiing or snowboarding before, after and during skiing or snowboarding. Red wine helps to drown out the noise.
DON’T go to rent your ski equipment in the morning or else prepare to endure the sort of queues where children will be crushed and ski poles are used as weapons. Get it done the evening prior and you won’t have to endure your entire group cursing at you all morning for the late start.
DO expect your hunky ski guide to hit on you. It’s part of his job description. Even if you’re both guys.
DON’T do any of the following:
Ungodly one-piece ski suits
His and hers ski-wear wasn’t okay then…
And it’s still not okay now…
DO take influence from any of these:
(maybe add a shirt)
Mix and match..
Start a style comeback
If Brigitte Bardot wore skinny jeans in the 70s while skiing (above), MessyNessy might just have to try it…(minus the red socks)
Jeans might be a fashion faux-pas in skiwear, but who would have thought alpine christmas sweaters would be cool again ?
Dolce & Gabbana AW 2010
(please bear in mind the outfit on the right is best reserved for après-ski)
Grungy snow-boarders’ style is out… Remnants of old school elegance is in.
DON’T get off the chairlift like this:
Enjoy the ski season and just be thankful you don’t have to do it like these cheerful looking ski enthusiasts…
Perhaps it’s because we share the first name (yes, if you haven’t figured it out, Nessy is short for Vanessa), perhaps it’s because she’s a Parisian and I’m now attempting to call myself one or maybe it’s just because we both like Johnny Depp– whatever the reason, Vanessa Paradis is my girl crush du jour. I stumbled across one of her old music videos from the 90s on Youtube (I love digitally stumbling all over the internet) and was literally mesmerized. I’ve posted this (actually rather good) song at the bottom of the article after a series of images I found of the French actress that I hadn’t seen before. I will say that I prefer to look at the earlier images of Vanessa when she was younger, when everyone was comparing her to Brigitte Bardot. I had always wondered why the media had ever dubbed her a Bardot lookalike. Other than the gapped teeth, I couldn’t see the resemblance between Bardot’s buxom-blonde looks and Paradis’ delicate facial features that she has now grown into. But in these first few images of Vanessa in her teens and early twenties (she became a star in France at 14), you can really see a definite reminder of the 60s style icon.
This was probably the picture that did it for me! SO cute!
and just to remind you what Brigitte Bardot looks like…(pretty similar)
More recent pictures of Vanessa…
Vanessa with father of her children, Johnny Depp.
Below, another woman that Vanessa has a strong resemblance to…
Kate Moss, Johnny Depp’s ex-girlfriend!
Depp and Moss dated during the 90s
Kate Moss and Johnny Depp
I’m not actually going to start comparing Vanessa Paradis with Kate Moss now because that would be like comparing Paris to London and lord knows I do enough of that on this blog.
With a style totally unique to her and with the air of an old soul (perhaps Brigitte Bardot’s), Vanessa Paradis is my girl crush du jour.
I was at the cinema last evening settling into Gainsbourg: Vie Héroïque, the biopic of the legendary French singer-songwriter, when I suddenly found myself near choking on my honey-roasted peanuts. To my complete and utter surprise, there on the screen playing Serge Gainsbourg’s first wife was my very own cousin! Frantically struggling to google the movie’s cast on my blackberry, it took everything in me not to squeal from excitement when I saw my family name on the list. I can only conclude, however, that like most French families, mine has serious communication issues.
With the discovery of my cousin’s sudden leap into mainstream French cinema, I was naturally engrossed in the film already. But I also knew that the two characters which had lured me away from my laptop to come and see the film in the first place, were about to make an appearance. Bardot and Birkin– two of the most beautiful and iconic actresses that I have aspired to for their style and spirit ever since I first laid eyes on their photographs. When I visit the hairdresser for my seasonal make-over, I’ll either be clutching a tear-out of Brigitte Bardot’s romantic and tousled boudoir coiffe or Jane Birkin’s signature hipster bangs. These two women also happened to be the great loves of Serge Gainsbourg.
For those of you asking who the heck is Serge Gainsbourg? Tut tut!
He is basically the French John Lennon.
Brigitte Bardot with Serge Gainsbourg
Bardot fell for Gainsbourg while she was still married to notorious playboy Gunther Sachs. Régine, a singer and infamous Parisian nightclub owner, recalls their passionate affair. “Serge and Bardot were in my kitchen all the time because she didn’t want to go to restaurants. She was always laughing with him, and he was thrilled to be with her, such a beautiful woman.”
When he met her, Bardot’s film career was slowing down and he helped her move into music. Together, they recorded “Je T’Aime… Moi Non Plus,” which featured the sounds of Brigitte’s explicit sexual moaning. She begged him not to release it in fear of exposing their affair to her husband and Gainsbourg later released it with Jane Birkin’s vocals instead. The song was banned in most European countries.
Model Laetitia Casta as Brigitte Bardot
When Bardot returned to her husband, 4o-year old Serge fell for the beautiful 22-year-old Jane Birkin. The British actress whose style evoked the swinging sixties and provocative French superstar, together, were a force of nature on the Paris social scene. Castel’s nightclub, which still exists on the Rue Princesse on the Left Bank, set the scene for many of their alcohol-fuelled theatricals. One night, Serge emptied the basket that she carried as a handbag and threw it onto the ground. Absurdly, she retaliated by throwing a custard pie in his face. After he stormed out, she raced past him towards the Seine and as soon as she saw him catch up to her, she flung herself into the city’s river to later be rescued by firemen. The lovers then strolled arm in arm back to their decadent home on Rue de Verneuil.
I strolled past this house in Paris and took a picture because I was drawn to the graffiti that covered the facade. It turns out, this was in fact the Gainsbourg household on Rue de Verneuil.
Birkin on Bardot
Both Serge and Jane were known to be outrageously jealous lovers. When Jane made a movie with Bardot, while Serge felt threatened by the film’s director, Jane confessed, “I wanted to see every portion of her [Bardot's] body to see if she was as beautiful as I thought she was, and she is. Checked from head to toe by me. There’s not one fault in the woman.”
Bardot and Birkin in Don Juan 73- looks like they got along!
The Story behind the Birkin Bag
On an Air France flight from Paris to London, Jane Birkin pulled her Hermès date book out of her bag and all her papers fell on the floor. She complained to the passenger sitting next to her that the book should have pockets. That passenger was the chairman of Hermès, Jean-Louis Dumas, and after hearing her complain he created the Birkin bag.
“If he [Serge] had seen me giving birth to Charlotte, it’s possible he never would have slept with me again.” (Jane Birkin)
In 1971 Birkin gave birth to their daughter, Charlotte. She was constantly with her parents, even at nightclubs when she was still small enough to fit in Jane’s infamous baskets that she used as handbags (see images above). At the age of thirteen, she did a duet with her father called ‘Lemon Incest’. The song included the lyrics, “the love that we will never make.” It shocked the nation and sparked outrage but Charlotte still insists today that it was “a pure love song from father to daughter” and speaks fondly of Gainsbourg, who died of a heart attack in 1991.
“Every time I get into a taxi [in Paris] I hear a story about my father, because he used to take taxis all day long and [the drivers] tell me how sweet he was.”
Charlotte is today a renowned actress in both Hollywood and independent cinema, not to mention, she’s practically royalty in France.
What is it about Gainsbourg?
Serge Gainsbourg was not blessed with good looks. So how did he manage to seduce some of the worlds most beautiful women?
“I never actually had a relationship with him,” says Marianne Faithfull, who first met Serge in 1965. “But I sometimes wish I had. You could tell that anyone who slept with him would come away very satisfied indeed. Ha ha! He had a wonderful aura of quiet confidence around him, an odd mixture of shyness and arrogance.”
Juliette Gréco, already a famous singer when she met Gainsbourg, was one of his earlier lovers. She was at the forefront of the bohemian intellectual movement in post-war France.
Some might suggest that it was Gainsbourg’s women that made his career. Truthfully, his records did not attract as much attention as they did when women started to cover his songs. Brigitte Bardot, Juliette Gréco, Catherine Deneuve, Isabelle Adjani, Marianne Faithfull and Vanessa Paradis all had hits with the songwriter– several of which he had affairs with.
“Serge liked to surround himself with women,” says Jane Birkin,”He was insecure about his looks and felt validated by their attentions.”
“He was feeling like he was not a beautiful man, but inside he was a beautiful man, and his charm was more important. And when a man like that has success, they start to have beautiful women.”
(Régine, friend of Gainsbourg)
Messy Nessy recommends you see Gainsbourg: La Vie Heroique
And lastly Messy Nessy wants to proudly boast a picture of her talented cousin in the film
Deborah Grall as Gainsbourg's first wife, Elizabeth Levisky