Francoise Hardy turns 70 today, January 17. Before we go further, here is a recent picture:
The woman is still gorgeous. And ambiguous. And oh so, well, French.
Has there ever been a time when Francoise Hardy was not a fashion icon? In fact was she ever anything else? The answer is yes and no. Americans who have heard of her have mostly never heard her, myself included. Yet she is one reason I chose to take French in 10th grade— so I could read about Francoise Hardy in French "Elle", purchased whenever I had the five bucks* from Schroeder's Bookstore and Foreign Newsstand in Cleveland, Ohio.
Perhaps my French wasn't up to it, but I didn't learn a lot. I loved looking at pictures though. She was impossibly tall and slim, with thick straight hair and strong features devoid of (much) makeup. The camera adored her. She reciprocated.
|Never looked that good in a trenchcoat, |
though I tried
|Ditto the motorcycle jacket|
Francoise Hardy began recording in 1962, the heyday of French New Wave cinema and the French influence on pop culture (aka pre British invasion). While her music was a hit in France, she never caught fire in America. She has a clear, soulful voice. If you go to:
you will recognize "Les Temps de L'Amour". You've probably heard it a thousand times and can't remember where.
Even reading in English I can't seem to find out much. She didn't have a movie career— a few cameo appearances, that's all. Some fashion shoots. She is evidently a shy person who doesn't relish the spotlight. Nevertheless she still performs and records.
|Longtime companion/husband/fellow performer|
The Lovely Boutique Where I Work has anointed Francoise Hardy their inspiration for Spring 2014. Yes that means more nautical stripes, moto jackets and '60s silhouettes. And Francoise Hardy envy.
* $5 in 1962 money = $38 today