Friday, March 2, 2012

Nurture Yourself - Style Yourself Bardot

Photography © Tirage numérique d'après le tirage original de Sam Lévin - Médiathèque de l'architecture et du patrimoine, France. Courtesy of BB Forever / Sofitel Luxury Hotels.
This past weekend, Sofitel Luxury Hotels launched a new photography exhibition here in Los Angeles, "BB Forever - Brigitte Bardot, The Legend." The exhibit, which was done in collaboration with French journalist and author Henry-Jean Servat, showcases 30 exclusive photographs of Brigitte Bardot's rise to fame and retraces the life of this French icon from teenage dreamer to modern day star. 

Photography © Paris Match - Jean-Claude Sauer. Courtesy of BB Forever / Sofitel Luxury Hotels.
Brigitte Bardot, or "BB" as she was known by her fans, rose to fame in the 50's and was often compared to her American contemporary, Marilyn Monroe. In a 21-year career, she made 48 films and starred alongside greats like Kirk Douglas (1953's "Act of Love") and Sean Connery (1968's "Shalako"). Many of the photographs in this exhibit have never been displayed until now and chronicle her beginnings as an aspiring ballerina, her marriages to director Roger Vadim and German millionaire Gunter Sachs, and the pinnacle of her fame as the star of Vadim's controversial film, "And God Created Woman."  Bardot retired in 1973 to her home in St. Tropez, France and now runs the Brigitte Bardot Foundation For The Welfare And Protection Of Animals. 

Photography © Tirage numérique d'après le tirage original de Sam Lévin - Médiathèque de l'architecture et du patrimoine, France. Courtesy of BB Forever / Sofitel Luxury Hotels.
Admission to the "BB Forever" exhibit is free and is open to the public until its' Los Angeles run ends on March 31st. Sofitel has also created a special collector's catalogue that includes rare photographs accompanied by commentary and anecdotes from longtime friend Servat as well as an editorial by Bardot herself. After its departure from Los Angeles, the exhibit will move to Chicago (April 19th - June 7th), Washington D.C. (June 21st - September 13th), and end its run in New York City (September 26th - December 31st).  For more on BB and where she is today, check out this recent Vanity Fair article by Henry-Jean Servat. 

Photograph courtesy of Vogue U.K. 
As famous for her personal style as she was for her movies, Bardot was the definition of French casual chic and made gingham swimsuits, eyelet dresses, casual flats and boat-neck striped t-shirts staples of women around the world. 

Photograph courtesy of Vogue U.K.
Photograph courtesy of Vogue U.K.
Photograph courtesy of Vogue U.K. 

Bardot exemplified the style that we think of as quintessentially French - chic, adventurous and full of confidence.  She is and will always have a place in history as an indisputable style icon.  Browsing through these wonderful photos inspired me to have some Bardot moments of my own this spring. Here are a few pieces to help channel your own B.B.

1. Red Chiffon Tennis Playsuit, $96.00, at / 2. Gingham Two-piece Swimsuit, $100, at / 3. Kate Spade Darryl Sunglasses, $128, at Kate Spade / 4. White Eyelet Sundress, $47.99, at / 5. Polk-Dot Sidewalk Skimmer, $98, at / 6. Emilio Pucci Thin Printed Scarf, $57.75, at


Erin said...

God, I would kill for a pout like hers. I love that bikini and those flats! I had a bad experience with Sofitel in Philly while doing a "staycation" unfortunately. I like that this exhibit is free, though!

California Chic said...

@Erin - aren't bad hotel experiences the worst! I'm so sorry to hear that. The few times it has happened to us, we said something and ended up getting a few nights for free. Never hurts to pipe up :)

Anonymous said...

I don't know much about her films, however I knew that she had dedicated the remainder of her life to animals, so I fell in love with her when I discovered that. Her younger days she epitomized beauty in my opinion! Teri

Theresa / InspirationCOOP said...

In recent days, I've been hearing many mentions of BB. I don't know much about her and have yet to read the VF article. Perhaps I should start there. Back in Claudia Schiffer's heyday, I just remember so many people comparing her and BB. Both were/are pretty sexy.

tina said...

Oh my, I love BB and kind of grew up with her image. Great post, pics and suggestions for our own bit of french chic.

I am thinking Erin in Paris;)

Thanks for this. It must be difficult to age when you're so beautiful!

California Chic said...

@Teri - I totally agree about her epitomizing beauty! I didn't know much about her either before I learned about this exhibit, but got inspired to learn more.

@Theresa - I learned alot from the VF article too! Do you remember Claudia in those Guess ads? She was such a big deal back then!

@Tina - so glad you enjoyed it! Sounds like maybe you can educate some of us on a little more BB history :) I do always wonder what its like for some of these beauties as they get older. I saw a recent pic of BB while I was doing my research and she had a cane :(

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