The Widespread Impact of Belle de Jour

Yves Saint Laurent would create some of the most iconic looks of the late 1960s and 1970s. Many were inspired by his designs and how muse Catherine Deneuve magically embodied his style. His “school girl” dress is but one example. At the time, other fashion designers like Mary Quant did their own “school girl” dresses, but it was Yves who somehow made it sophisticated and sexy. The impact of Belle de Jour was widespread, ranging from high fashion to ready-to-wear to sewing patterns for women who wanted to make their own clothing at home. This trickle-down effect from costume design to fashion design is shown below and even includes a dress from a pattern book of the late 1960s. Whether its the dress itself or look of the model, it screams of Belle de Jour style.

Recently the influence is equally extensive. In fashion, design houses such as ValentinoCalvin Klein, and Carven were inspired by Belle de Jour for Fall 2013. Some designers, such as Tommy Hilfiger, adore the movie so much that they continue to reference it in collection after collection. This is especially true of the military-inspired outerwear from the film. Fashionista Alexa Chung has adopted the “school girl” look as part of her personal style, even including the design in her own capsule collections for Madewell.  Modern magazine editors frequently name and style photo shoots after Belle de Jour as well.

 
 

Eniko Mihalik for Vogue Spain (September 2012) by Vincent PetersEniko Mihalik modelling for Vogue Spain, September 2012. Photo by Vincent Peters

 
 

Tommy Hilfiger, Fall 2012-2013

 
 

Burberry, Fall Winter 2013

 
 

Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pier Paolo Piccioli for Valentino Fall/Winter 2013-2014

 
 

Allure magazine August 2013. Vinyl trench coat by Francisco Costa for Calvin Klein

 
 

Alexa Chung by David Vasiljevic for Elle UK. November 2010

 
 

NARS Summer 2010  + Belle de Jour Cinema ConnectionNARS Summer 20101 2 + Belle de Jour Cinema ConnectionIn beauty, makeup artist François Nars has had a Belle de Jour shade of lipstick for many years in his eponymous line. He even expanded upon it in 2010 and styled model Amber Valletta to look like Catherine Deneuve for the advertising campaign

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Portraits of a Red Haired Lady

Hand-painted dress and platforms by special order, Dior Haute Couture

 
 

Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I, Gustav Klimt, 1907

 
 

 The first of two portraits Gustav Klimt painted of Bloch-Bauer, it has been referred to as the final and most fully representative work of his golden phase. Klimt took three years to complete the painting; preliminary drawings for it date from 1903/4. It is made of oil and gold on canvas, showing elaborate and complex ornamentation as seen in the Jugendstil style. Klimt was a member of the Vienna Secession, a group of artists that broke away from the traditional way of painting. The picture was painted in Vienna and commissioned by Adele’s husband Ferdinand Bloch-Bauer. As a wealthy industrialist who had made his fortune in the sugar industry, he sponsored the arts and favored and supported Gustav Klimt. Adele Bloch-Bauer became the only model who was painted twice by Klimt when he completed a second picture of her, Adele Bloch-Bauer II, in 1912.

 
 

Sweater and skirt, Calvin Klein

 
 

Woman with a Fan (Madame Lunia Czechowska), Amedeo Modigliani, 1919

 
 

Amedeo Modigliani painted this–one of ten portraits he did of this sitter–one year before his death and three years after he’d met the lovely Lunia Czechowska (1895-after 1970). The Polish woman and her husband, Casimir, were old friends of Modigliani’s patron/dealer Leopold Zborowski. Despite the facts that Lunia was very much married in 1916 and “Modi” would shortly become involved with Jeanne Hébuterne, or that the two women became so friendly that one took care of the other’s out-of-wedlock daughter, only his death caused the artist to cease attempting to seduce Lunia.

Here he shows his firm friend posed gracefully, her seated body in its yellow dress forming lithe curves against the scarlet background. Later in life, Czechowska vividly recalled sitting for Modi as he drank cheap brandy, sang, lapsed into Italian and, eventually, fell so far into the act of painting that he became oblivious to the presence of another human being. And then, there she was on canvas, left with ” … the impression of having the soul laid bare and of being in the strange position of being able to do nothing to disguise her feelings.” In hindsight, it all sounds rather more seductive than a physical seduction.

 
 

Corset, Bottega Veneta

 
 

The Cripple, John Currin, 1997

 
 

Norman Bryson opens the brilliant, anxious essay he wrote for the lavish book on John Currin with an admission: ‘When I first saw Currin’s The Cripple, what I sensed was not only the cruelty that lay within the construction of the image, but a nasty stickiness in that cruelty, a way it had of making you connive in its own malevolence.’ He goes on to explain that the ‘figure’s misshapen and twisted body evidently originates with the painter, whose attitude towards the deformation he inflicts seems to include enjoyment.’

 
 

Silk-organza petal dress with jewel brooch, by special order, Armani Privé

 
 

Ballerinas, Edgar Degas, 1884

 
 

In this pastel, Edgar Degas revisited a theme he had already tackled in his work in the 1870s – ballerinas resting. He also went back to his regular studies on the effects of contre-jour, lighting which “reduces to silhouette”, suppressing details, erasing the distinctive features of a face or a body, making them anonymous.

But while still employing the old formulae, Dancers was innovative in its size and composition, and without doubt, is the best example of what has been called Degas’ “classical period”. Around 1884, the painter, in fact, simplified his compositions, reduced the depth of his pictorial space, lowered the viewpoint to make it more natural and concentrated on one, single character or group of figures. At the same time, he abandoned the often caricatural approach of his previous works. In doing this, he was responding to a desire expressed by critics and the public: to protest “against the confused mass of colours and the jumble of indecipherable lines that are destroying contemporary painting”. From this point of view, Dancers is effectively a manifesto.

 
 

Sheer dress, slip-dress, hat, mask and belt, Louis Vuitton

 
 

Man-Crazy Nurse, № 2, Richard Prince, 2003

 
 

Man-Crazy Nurse #2 plays the role of the ultimate femme fatale in Richard Prince‘s celebrated series of nurse paintings. Her full-blooded lust barely concealed by her primly buttoned and starched white uniform, she clutches a standard-issue hospital clipboard as if checking off the names of the men she has devoured. Casting a side-long glance, this libidinous nurse seems to have her next patient/victim in sight. Prince’s lushly expressive brushwork, which floods the canvas in shades of fleshy pink and blood red, serves as both a come-on and a warning.

Prince painted Man-Crazy Nurse #2 in 2002, the year he started working on his nurse series, and it was included in his first exhibition of these works at Barbara Gladstone Gallery the following year. In this body of work, Prince appropriated the covers of pulp romance novels from his collection of vintage books and transferred them onto canvas using an ink-jet printer, which he then layered with vigorous skeins of color. He veils his nurses with surgical masks that both add an element of mysterious allure, and turn them into potentially menacing masked bandits. In some cases he retains the original title, while in others he substitutes another novel’s title, and heightens ambiguity by blocking out the elements that provide any narrative mooring for his protagonists. The original covers often included handsome doctors or patients, or scenes of lovers caught in rapt embraces, which Prince subsums into a hazy fog of luridly colored paint.

A voracious bibliophile — an obsession which he has documented in various artist’s books such as American English (2003) — Prince has for years amassed an extensive collection of secondhand books and memorabilia, ranging from titles on film noir and trash literature to letters, manuscripts, publicity pictures, and first editions of favorites such as Lolita.

 
 

Photographs by Peter Lindbergh, Harper’s Bazaar, May 2008

Amazigh Calvin Klein

Calvin Klein’s collection inspired by Amazigh or Berber Jew tribes. Date unknown. Circa 1975-1979

 
 

14fastfashionck1-blog480Francisco Costa’s collection for Calvin Klein. Look No. 3. Fall/Winter 2013.

 
 

Calvin Klein was hailed as the new Yves Saint-Laurent, and was noted for his clean lines. Klein, who was born on November 19, 1942, was one of several design leaders raised in the Jewish immigrant community in the Bronx, New York, along with Robert Denning and Ralph Lauren. At Vogue, Klein became a protegee of Russian banker and socialite Baron de Gunzburg, through whose introductions helped him become the toast of the New York elite fashion scene even before he had his first mainstream success with the launch of his first jeans line. The September 1975 Vogue trumpeted, “If you were around a hundred years from now and wanted a definitive picture of the American look in 1975, you’d study Calvin Klein.” Klein was immediately recognized for his talent after his first major showing at New York Fashion Week.

Fashion Takes Its Bite of the Big Apple

Peter Som, United Bamboo, Imitation of Christ, Jeffrey Chow, Behnaz Sarafpour and Sebastian Pons

 
 

Actress and Imitation of Christ creative consultant Chloë Sevigny, with Elephant lead singer Diego Garcia, Hope Atherton and male model

 
 

Michael Kors, Carmen Kass and Mexican actor Diego Luna

 
 

Mark Badgley, James Mishka, Vera Wang, a group of rappers and models

 
 

Narciso Rodriguez, Oscar de la Renta, his daughther Eliza Reed Bolen, Karolina Kurkova, Liya Kebede, Eugenia Silva and other models

 
 

Proenza Schouler designers Lázaro Hernández (left) and Jack Mc Collough. In this picture they attempt to corral a llama, inspired by Inge Morath’s 1957 photograph in which the animal rides a cab through New York City.

 
 

Tommy Hilfiger and Karolina Kurkova

 
 

Zac Posen and his circle of friends

 
 

Angela Lindvall and Donna Karan; Isabelli Fontana and Kenneth Cole; Alek Wek and Diane von Furstenberg

 
 

Carolina Herrera, surrounded by models and the members of the Frick Museum’s gala benefit committee.

 
 

Ralph Lauren, Anouck Lepere, Isabelli Fontana and Filippa Hamilton

 
 

jacobs and coppola testion vogue february 2004Marc Jacobs and his close friend Sofia Coppola

 
 

Calvin Klein creative director Francisco Costa, Natalia Vodianova, Luca Gadjus and Patrick Robinson (the-then designer of Perry Ellis)

 
 

Fashion Editorial pressed in Vogue USA, February 2004
Photographer: Mario Testino
Editor: Tonne Goodman