As I’m sure anyone who isn’t living under a rock already knows, vintage has made quite a comeback these past few years (WOW! SHOCKING!). This is either because
A) we are a nostalgic and ashamedly not-as-cool-nor-clever-as-other-eras era, or
B) vintage clothes are simply the bees knees - both in and out of their given context.
I choose to believe both these theories are accurate. It's important to note the definition of “vintage” varies with the passing of time (of course) and - arguably - has even recently claimed the 1990s with the recent influx of chokers, babydoll/kinderwhore dresses, jelly sandals, the ever-cliche grunge attire, etc. (feel old, yet?). I find that people's biggest problem with trying to work a vintage look is how much vintage is too much vintage? How do I properly mix vintage and modern pieces so I don't look too outdated? How can I make myself look like I DIDN'T just emerge from a time capsule? Or maybe you're someone (like me!) who is all for decking yourself out like a walking Sears catalog from 1976. Either way, I've got good news for you!
As an avid lover of 1960s music, 1960s fashion, and 1960s Europe, you could only imagine my excitement when I discovered Yé-yé – a genre of early 1960s pop music deriving from countries including Italy, Spain, Portugal, and, perhaps most-notably, France. This particular style of music is heavenly in itself, but when you mix it with sleek, stunning, and timeless fashion of many Yé-yé artists themselves, it becomes all the more wonderful.
Françoise Hardy, a French model and actress born in Paris in 1944, is undoubtedly one of the most prominent icons of Yé-yé. Famous tracks of her's include "Comment Te Dire Adieu," a French cover of Leonard Cohen's "Suzanne," and "Le Temps De L'Amour" - which was also featured in Wes Anderson's 2012 film Moonrise Kingdom (from that one scene everyone used to post GIFs of on Tumblr in 2013).
The renowned fashion of Françoise is timeless - drawing influence from the 1960s European mod scene and putting both casual and professional, feminine and masculine twists on her attire of choice. To begin, here are some A+ looks of Françoise's that are not-so-casual, nor very realistic to try and pull off:
Okay – now that we’ve covered she is basically a goddess, let’s move on to some more reasonable looks.
Clearly these looks are very casual, and require little-to-no effort for anyone to imitate.
Here she is, looking fly as ever in a basic white turtle neck and a killer skirt. The guitar part it totally optional, but strongly encouraged:
Françoise is also a pro at a sleek blazer + trouser combo. Prominent attributes of these looks include: collared shirts and leather.
Here are some great color-blocked looks. Personally, I’ve found it difficult to come across reasonably-priced color-blocked pieces, so your best bet is to either go designer (examples are included in my), or better yet – hunt for actual vintage pieces. Etsy.com is often a good way to go. Sometimes pricey, but worth it!
Lastly, another incredibly popular fashion item in the mod/1960s/French scene are statement sunglasses. This is another item where you may find the best pairs are either designer, or actual vintage ones on Etsy – which is, on Etsy, often a great route to go.