While it may not have been as immediately accessible or universally appealing as it is today, street style has been around well before fashion blogs, the Internet or The Sartorialist was old enough to say “cheese”. Francoise Hardy was a street style star decades before it would even be deemed “street style”. She was one of just a handful of fashion idols who was almost as famous for her personal style as she was for her other talents back in the 1960’s- hers being tremendous musical talent. And as opposed to many women today who get famous for their style through persistent self-promotion via advertising gifted clothes, Instagramming on all things fashion and blogging daily outfits, Hardy did not set out to become an icon of any sort.
In 2011, Hardy told BBC that “It is quite impossible to stand — to be admired too much — it is not a normal situation…I don’t like that at all…I am not comfortable with my professional life really, so the word ‘icon’- it’s as though you were talking about someone else, it’s not me really…I feel happy when I’m on my bed, in my room with a good book." For someone with groundbreaking style and a stunning visage like Hardy though, it was practically impossible to not be noticed and admired for that, and that is what is so endearing about her: she was shy in her demeanor yet powerful in her style.
Newfound Fame and Cover Girl Status
Once Hardy exploded onto the music scene with songs like “Tous les Garçons et les Filles” and “All Over the World”, she quickly became the cover girl for magazines galore and was seen with the likes of Mick Jagger, The Beatles and Bob Dylan, who dedicated a poem to her, “At the Seine’s Edge”. And with her newfound fame and lifestyle, even on her most dressed-down days, her style was unmistakable and photographed frequently. It was no wonder Jagger and Dylan wanted to be seen with this effortlessly-cool French gal. Even Jean-Luc Godard took interest in her and cast her in his film Masculin Feminin. For a shy girl, her newfound lifestyle proved to be a great contrast and ever troublesome for the musician-turned-fashion icon-turned actress.
How to get the Francoise Hardy look
One for donning staple wardrobe pieces, Hardy’s 60’s style makes it clear why black-and-white stripes, trench coats and leather moto jackets have the staying power that they possess. And while she frequently rocked the classic-feminine-meets-masculine style, she would sometimes switch things up with surprising pieces like metallic jumpsuits and bright color-blocking ensembles.
Even with her wildest looks, though, she always managed to keep her looks enviably cool, and this was all due to her ability to keep a balance in her outfits; If she went bold in color, she made sure to keep the garments basic in style: bright blue button down, simple green mini skirt, bright red cap, etc. If she went crazy with a print, the pieces would be tailored to a T and not mixed with anything else too out there. It was a way to keep it simple while also experimenting a little. So, follow these rules when you style a look with Hardy in mind: simplicity is key, masculine elements can always balance out a troublesome outfit, and never add too much when you go bold- stop when it looks good and go! It’s easy to see why fashion bloggers around the world (including myself) name Hardy as an all-time favorite style icon.
By Whitney S. Williams
Google via Mr.Kate
BaseNotes (wearing YSL)
Elements of Style