Francoise Hardy

The Ideal Woman

It starts with a winged eye, and ends with a white boot.

A legendary fashion icon of the late 60’s and early 70s, Francoise Hardy is enamored by designers from Francisco Costa at Calvin Klein, to Frida Giannini at Gucci. A singer, actress and astrologer, she is often characterized by her long, lanky hair-do, and au natural make-up. Hardy is the epitome of what many listacles refer to as the French chanteuse of her era, inspiring talents like Bob Dylan who dedicated a poem to her, and Mick Jagger describing Hardy as the “ideal woman”. She’s definitely no ordinary muse.

Exuding a slightly androgynous girl-next-door charm, Hardy was the anti-Bardot with a sexy French voice who changed the way teenagers wanted to look. Her song “Tous Les Garcons et Les Filles” had a lyric translating to “like the boys and girls my age”, which was slightly tweaked by the Japanese designer Rei Kawakubo to become the name for her label, Comme des Garcons. 

She still remains as an inspiration even decades later, where she became a muse of Nicolas Ghesquiere at Balenciaga who paid homage to her, declaring that Hardy is “the very essence of French style”, as well as one of the inspirational fashion style icons for Alexa Chung.

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For some, such high praise coupled with looks and style that resonated continuously could be turning. But even before her shoot to stardom, she remains as a soft spoken, humble and shy person. “I didn’t like what happens when all of a sudden you become very famous and you have to be photographed – I’ve always hated it.” She said in 1962.” “The word “icon” – that’s sometimes used about me. I don’t recognize it. It’s as if you’re talking about someone else.” But Hardy was also known for her nerves, which she jokingly attributed to her being born during an air-raid. But our best bet is that, it is all part of what draws people in... And it works.

“If it weren’t for the way I dress, no one would notice me,” she told a reporter in 1968. Hardly likely, given her cheekbones and doe eyes.

She epitomized sixties fashion with one look: a zippy A-line skirt, white turtleneck, belted coat, and her iconic white boots. She’s taken up by fashion houses Yves St Laurent and Paco Rabanne (remember the dress made of glittering gold tiles?), gracing covers of magazines like Elle and Paris Match. She was dressed in all sorts of clothing, but her trademark long dark hair and heavy eye-grazing fringe stayed the same throughout. Now cut to a white crop, she has aged beautifully over her 72 years.

We’ve yet to encounter a fashion fan that would not fall for Hardy. Not just for her looks and singing, but how she remains to stay almost unscathed by what fame and fortune tends to do to some.

“I feel happy and secure when I’m on my bed with a good book… I forget everything which is terrible in our world.”

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