Monday, August 16, 2010
Sixties Style: Jean-Paul Belmondo
French Nouvelle Vague cinema actor Jean-Paul Belmondo exhibited the elegance, style, and sophisticated mannerisms we have come to associate with a 1960s man about town.
His mixture of charm and classic fashion introduced the world to a new look in the tumultuous decade: Mod.
Yes, this French movie star was the original Mod Man.
Although the mod style had originated in London, it was Jean-Paul who epitomized the look on the silver screen with his effortlessly cool version.
In the mod culture, being well-dressed and worldly was more important than anything else in the world. Young 20-something-year-old mod men would even declare in a national magazine that they would rather starve themselves and save their money for clothes, than buy food.
Jean-Paul became famous for his tailor-made Italian suits, cashmere sweaters, thin ties, button-down dress shirts, and "winklepickers" (sharp-toed, narrow leather shoes and boots).
Like their French idol, mod men preferred scooters over motorbikes, because of the cleaner look, smooth ride, and they were less likely to stain an expensive suit with grease.
In fact, scootering led them to wear military parkas to protect their costly suits and trousers from mud and rain.
Jean-Paul Belmondo is most famous for his roles in Breathless (1960) and Pierrot le fou (1965). They are incredibly good movies and I highly recommend them.