The 1960’s was such a pivotal era in fashion both in America and Europe. New York was bursting with art stars who challenged traditional styles by using common objects as subject matter. Swinging London introduced Beatle-mania, mod haircuts and Twiggy. France was riding a wave of Yé-yé girls, a mademoiselles response to American culture and British pop. The younger set were the fashion leaders rebelling against the 1950’s conservatism. Music from England was topping the charts and television shows like Ready, Steady, GO! put The Beatles and Rolling Stones in your living room. Fashion photography started to get more daring and art began to motivate new designer collections. For instance, Yves Saint Laurent’s iconic color blocked shift dress was his interpretation of Pier Mondrain’s rectangles. Music led lifestyles and folk music became popular. One singer in particular became well known for her effortlessly chic style, Francoise Hardy.
French girl singers of the 60’s were billed as Yé-yé girls for the style of music that they produced; mostly innocent songs about love. The women who led this music explosion had a naive beauty about them. Although England was churning out a majority of the popular music at the time, the Yé-yé girls of France held that alluring charm the French seem to own. Francoise Hardy is considered one of the standout stars of the genre. Hardy sang in French, English, Spanish, Italian, and German and played the guitar. Her signature look was minimal; jeans, boots, a leather jacket and an acoustic guitar. Her style tended to have menswear and miltary influences with a sexy twist. Her long golden brown hair with fringed bangs perfectly framed her strong structured face which she kept natural with just black liner and full neutral lips. Classic.
The 1960’s was also interesting because the correlation of fashion and music combined began to take shape in popular culture. Different mediums were coming together and now more projects were coming together internationally. Francoise Hardy was mentioned in a poem “Some other kinds of songs” on writer/ musician Bob Dylan’s album, Another Side of Bob Dylan. Her song “Tous les garçons et les filles” inspired Japanese fashion designer Rei Kawakubo in creating the name Comme des Garçons for her fashion line. Nicholas Ghesquire, head of the couture house at Balenciaga has noted Francoise Hardy’s Parisian chic as a style inspiration.
Hardy’s singing and acting career spans close to five decades and she still exudes. Currently she is working on an album to be released in Spring 2010.
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