The original ‘sex kitten’ has turned 80: in her honour, we celebrate her contributions to fashion and beauty during her illustrious career.
Ironically, one of the world’s most recognisable screen sirens never intended to be an actress.
Though she appeared in over 40 feature films and recorded several albums, the Gallic pin-up dreamed of being a ballerina.
Brigitte made her on-screen debut as a doe-eyed 18 year old brunette, appearing in the film ‘Crazy for Love’.
Eight years later, the rising star had adopted her trademark pale pink pout and beehive ‘do- a beauty look that would ultimately define the decade.
For the ensuing years, she became the embodiment of the liberated modern woman, and was lauded internationally as a ‘sex kitten’.
In 1973, she retired from the entertainment industry, and poured her passions into animal rights and political activism.
As she got older, she often came under fire for her controversial views on race, religion, sexuality and animal rights.
Now 80, she lives her life far from the public eye in her secluded St Tropez home with her fourth husband.
In honour of the original bombshell reaching her eightieth year, here are eight of her most influential contributions to the world of fashion and beauty.
Brigitte’s large chocolate hued eyes were rarely seen un-made up. The starlet introduced the thick winged eyeliner flick to the world, and half a century later its popularity shows no sign of abating.
Those tumbling, tousled blonde locks have ensured Brigitte’s beauty icon status has been cemented. Her backcombed, beehive hairstyle was nicknamed ‘choucroute’ (sauerkraut) and is as relevant today as it was during her on-screen tenure.
A pillowy pale pink pout emphasised Bardot’s signature gap-toothed grin. To date, many models and actresses with similar teeth have been compared to Brigitte, for example Georgia May Jagger, Lara Stone and Claudia Schiffer.
Checkers were revived this month on the runways at New York Fashion Week, but the picnic-print was put on the map when Bardot wore a pink gingham wedding dress for her 1959 wedding to Jacques Charrier.
Brigitte even has a type of neckline named after her. The ‘Bardot’ is the name given to a top that lies off the shoulder, a style which she widely popularised.
Brigitte routinely accessorised her teased hair with grosgrain and silk ribbons. One of her most famous hair styles was two bunched pigtails, tied together with dainty bows.
Whether it was linear-patterned mini dresses or casual Breton shirts, Brigitte often embraced the classic French stripes that still remain a fashion staple.
The perennial felt floppy hat has never slipped off the radar.
Whether on the beach paired with a bikini or in the airport with knee-high boots and a mac, the enduring floppy hat helped to add an air of sultry insouciance to the enigmatic actress.
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