Thursday, August 8, 2013

Dress Like: Jean Seberg

Befriending her boyfriend's shirt

Here's an idea I wish I'd come up with: British Harper's Bazaar is introducing an online feature called Dress Like: (Your Favorite Movie Icon Here). They promise posts of Grace Kelly, Audrey Hepburn, etc. in weeks to come. I can hardly wait.

As I'm missing a link in my tech savvy, you will need to cut and paste the following to reach the lesson on Jean Seberg in one of my all-time favorite fashion films, "Breathless".

Meanwhile here is a bit of background. Jean Seberg's performance in her first film, "Saint Joan" (1957), was almost universally panned. She had been discovered in Marshalltown, Iowa, by Otto Preminger who was conducting a "Gone With the Wind"-style search for his leading lady. Her only previous acting experience had been one season in summer stock. Preminger cast her again in "Bonjour Tristesse" (1958) with no more success. She did incongruously sport the Saint Joan haircut. It looked a little odd with the Hollywood interpretation of mid-century fashions.

The pixie haircut met its match in "Breathless"(1960). Jean Seberg looked so right in a striped nautical tee, a Burberry trench coat, a fitted white t with skinny pants, her boyfriend's shirt or a pretty dress worn with cat's eye sunglasses.

Although the film was a hit, and she was hailed as a New Wave star, her career was inconsistent. Jean's personal life was not much better; she overdosed on barbiturates in 1971 at age 41. Her character, Patricia, in "Breathless" still pops off the screen as an innocent vixen, both naive and sophisticated. Dress like Jean Seberg, and you can have it both ways.


  1. Her look inspired me so much when I was a kid! I think I first saw breathless when I was about 12. It left such an impression on me. I've loved trench coats and rolled up jeans ever since. Think I need to watch it again!

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