Watching Belle de Jour is like being thrust into a 1960s erotic dreamland, filled with betrayal, disturbing sexual fantasies, and secrecy. The main reason this film is utter cinema magic, though, is because of its star, Catherine Deneuve.
The gorgeous French movie star plays the cold and mysterious Severine, who is the wife of a doctor. Although she is happily married, Severine simply cannot bring herself to be intimate with him. Instead, she spends her free time indulging in vivid kinky sexual fantasies to entertain herself. To satisfy them, she eventually becomes a prostitute, working afternoons in a brothel while her husband is at work.
When Catherine was making this film, she was already the muse for Yves Saint Laurent, who dressed her for the film. The result is utter genius. The dresses and coats Catherine wears in this film are epic representatives of the designer’s finest work. Her pill box hats, Roger Vivier pumps, little black clutch, and oversized sunglasses will also make your heart stop.
It is obvious that the 25-year-old was a fashion statement both on and off the silver screen.
I chose Catherine to kick off my sixties style icon series because her innocent beauty, erotic sensuality, and classic style perfectly represent a decade when a sexual revolt emerged from a more conservative and modest era.