If you haven’t seen Breathless (Á Bout de Souffle) a 1960 film by Jean-Luc Godard, here is a brief synopsis:
“A small time crook, Michel Poiccard, chased by the police after stealing a car, shoots one of them and flees. Back in Paris he finds an American girlfriend and succeeds in seducing her. He convinces her to go to Italy with him. But the police have discovered the murderer’s identity and are on his trail…
The film debut of Jean-Luc Godard started the French new wave of filmmaking – recognized as one of the most stylish and influential movements in film history.
Cigarettes, hats, sunglasses and determined non-conformity make Michel Poiccard (Belmondo) a true cinematic icon. Playing beside the stunning Jean Seberg he smokes his way through a series of sexy gallic exchanges in the ultra cool Paris of the 1960s”.
So yeah, sounds great doesn’t it? It is. And as much for the style and fashion as it is for the plot. Here is how to dress like Patricia Franchini.
I like her style because it straddles the line between feminine and masculine. What a haircut! I love this type of cut because with it one can look like a boy or a girl, depending on what you wear.
What was also cool about the character is that she is American but speaks French. There’s something special about that because we usually watch movies where it is the other way round: foreign people speaking English. So it is refresing to see it.
The outfit I remember most from the film and inspired me to do a HTDL on her is this one:
Kirsten Dunst recently sported a t-shirt with this on it. I have trawled the internet for it and found it here in what seems to be kids sizes but I’m not 100%. If in desperate need, make it yourself for a tenner! I think I might.
The French are known for their style and seeing as this movie is set in Paris means that we assume it will be stylish, right? I lived in Paris for a while. In fact I watched this movie when I was living in gay Paree. She sold newspapers near my apartment! Ah, to have be alive when she was there under my window!
Patricia’s look is classic and could still be worn today. She often kept it simple with stripes which is still an easy yet stylish look to pull off.
Any high-street store will have a stripey t-shirt like this. I have seen them in New Look and Primark for under a tenner, for example.
There is a fun play on gender in Breathless. I like it. Of course I’d like it more if the French boyfriend was a French girlfriend, and she didn’t have to borrow her masculine pieces from him! Here, she wears his hat and does some more obligatory smoking. That’s right, it was a crime not to smoke in Paris in 1960. It still is…
A hat like this can be found on eBay for a decent price.
And wears the oversized shirt with pride:
Again, another cheap and timeless look to pull off.(Trycharity shops, Topshop, Asos and your dad’s wardrobe!)
More feminine outfits included this:
Topshop have a frickin’ amazing collection of dresses and loads that aren’t too far off Patricia’s dresses.
Beautful yet understated, Ms Franchini is quite intriguing really.
Do you mix feminine and masculine? Do you have a thing for French movies?