Thursday, 4 February 2010

Reel to Real #7: Stéphane Audran in "Les Biches"

"Les Biches" is a suspenseful 1968 film that explores the same-sex relationship between two woman: a young artist and the glamorous heiress Frederique, played by the incomparably beautiful Stéphane Audran, who whisks her away to St. Tropez. It is not only worth watching for its daring portrayal of lesbianism but also for Audran's fierce performance and wardrobe. As expressed by her clothing, Frederique is a classic seductress who seeks to manipulate those around her. Her fur-lined coat in the opening scene aligns her with the archetype of the dominating "Venus In Furs":

Frederique's dominant position is also expressed through menswear-inspired looks such as leather vests and equestrian gear. She is always precisely styled, no hair out of place, conveying her need for control. 

Additionally, Audran might be the only woman i've seen pull of knee-length pants as seen above, which she does by layering them over opaque or black tights (as seen below). I've never really seen this look before seeing "Les Biches" but it is very elegant (given that you are tall enough to pull it off) and is very easy to copy. 

In order to replicate Audran's sophisticated look, i'd recommend well-fit (not baggy or oversized) menswear pieces such as suit jackets and vests and experimenting with proportion (as evidenced by the capri/tights combo). What's most remarkable about Frederique's style is that it proves  one needn't dress in a conventionally feminine style to be glamorous. 

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