Friday, January 17, 2014

Happy Birthday, Francoise Hardy

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
Jacques Dutronc

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


  1. Francoise Hardy was one of my role models was one of my role models too and she still looks gorgeous.

  2. I'm almost ashamed to admit how many hours I spent trying to get my hair to "flip" like hers. Such a beauty!

  3. I well remember her in the 60s - especially her singing Tous Les Garcons
    She was pretty cool

  4. Ha, the memories! I would have loved to have looked/sung like Francoise and tried to do so but with little success. All that we have in common is our age! No surprise that she still looks fabulous.
    Do you remember Juliette Greco?

    1. Thanks for your comments, and I do remember Juliette Greco. She seemed more sophisticated and remote than Francoise Hardy... as if I could ever be either!