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Peter Pan collars? Check. Marinière stripes? Double check. French New Wave films of the 1960s, a decade that began in black and white, introduced us to a fresh new look in both cinema and fashion. Similar to Swinging Sixties London, it was a time when art, music, youthful iconoclasm, and fashion all converged. Style icons embodying the French ‘effortless chic’ aesthetic – several of whom who also had careers as pop singers – continue to dot mood boards and wield influence on runway looks of designers such as Jason Wu and John Galliano for Christian Dior.


Yé-yé girls such as chanteuse Françoise Hardy exuded a certain feminine tomboy sex appeal, with her eyebrow-dusting bangs and penchant for tailored trousers, trenches, and mod Courrèges wardrobe.


Danish-born Godard muse Anna Karina (née Hanne Karin Blarke Bayer) is one of the most recognizable faces of La Nouvelle Vague, appearing in seven of the French director’s films. Coquettish and self-confident, this gamine was often seen adorning oversized sweaters and quirky glasses, hats, and outfits in vivid primary colors such as poppy reds and royal blues.


With her simple bob and wide-collared geometric shift dresses, sweet Chantal Goya stars as a budding pop star opposite Jean-Pierre Léaud in the 1966 Godard classic Masculin, féminin, an honest portrayal of French youth.

Here are some of my favorite looks from current fall, resort, and spring collections that evoke 1960s French nostalgia.

Sonia Rykiel Resort 2011, Whit Fall 2010, Orla Kiely Spring 2011


Christian Dior Resort 2011, Carven Spring 2011, Proenza Schouler Resort 2011

The BERNINA ‘Party Through the Decades’ International Competition ends on November 23rd. Here’s your chance to showcase your best work and personal style to win some awesome prizes. Bonne chance!

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24 Comments

  • Photo_18_large

    Nov 30, 2010, 01.06 AMby fashionlover94

    Love this!

  • Missing

    Nov 28, 2010, 09.30 PMby msluna13

    I missed the competition, but that does not mean that I will not attempt something inspired by this. I adore this look!

  • Dar_eyes_large

    Nov 28, 2010, 12.44 AMby dcfog

    The long sleeved dress with peekaboo toe shoes—-it may be sixties, but my mom was from Le Havre, France and I have a photo of her in something very similar in the 40’s…including the shoes…the dress wasn’t quite as short…She has sinced moved on to her next life and I miss her so much with her little accent…Maman, je t’aime ….thanks for the memories!!!!

  • Dar_eyes_large

    Nov 28, 2010, 12.43 AMby dcfog

    The long sleeved dress with peekaboo toe shoes—-it may be sixties, but my mom was from Le Havre, France and I have a photo of her in something very similar in the 40’s…including the shoes…the dress wasn’t quite as short…She has sinced moved on to her next life and I miss her so much with her little accent…Maman, je t’aime ….thanks for the memories!!!!

  • Dar_eyes_large

    Nov 28, 2010, 12.43 AMby dcfog

    The long sleeved dress with peekaboo toe shoes—-it may be sixties, but my mom was from Le Havre, France and I have a photo of her in something very similar in the 40’s…including the shoes…the dress wasn’t quite as short…She has sinced moved on to her next life and I miss her so much with her little accent…Maman, je t’aime ….thanks for the memories!!!!

  • Mee1_large

    Nov 24, 2010, 10.57 AMby fashionfreek

    Wow!!! Super stuff.Lovely fabric! I just love the sixties look. Thanks for sharing!

    1 Reply
    • Project_image_1_large

      Nov 26, 2010, 02.21 AMby Jamie Lau

      Believe me, this was so fun to write! My favorite topic!

  • Cali_large

    Nov 23, 2010, 07.22 PMby threadsquare

    By far my fav. J’adore!

  • Fase_large

    Nov 22, 2010, 03.45 PMby themisslinds

    i love anna karina – how precious is she in “a woman is a woman”? and francoise is the only reason i even own the movie “grand prix”.

    1 Reply
  • Vatten_large

    Nov 22, 2010, 12.19 PMby ichigogirl

    I really, really love this style. It’s amazing that it can still feel fresh and interesting more than 40 years later, cool. My mum was in her early 20’s then, and she’d kept a few fashion magazines with images just like the ones above, that have always inspired me. I think it’s the sexiest style possible, in a very subtle way.

    1 Reply
    • Project_image_1_large

      Nov 22, 2010, 03.08 PMby Jamie Lau

      I totally agree with you, so subtle but SO good! Shift dresses reign supreme!

  • P3210004_large

    Nov 22, 2010, 09.44 AMby sandrasews

    I heart every one of these looks.

  • Photo_on_2013-08-15_at_10_35_large

    Nov 22, 2010, 03.53 AMby nouvellegamine

    this is absolutely my favorite style.

  • Ak-logo_grey_large

    Nov 21, 2010, 07.03 PMby Angela Kane

    I love this style. it reminds me of my youth.

    Check out my young media partner at – pvkmedia – I am featuring their latest fashion video on my website. angelakane.com

    1950’s themed fashion photo shoot – I know it’s the previous decade (very Mad Men) but there is some cross over. I know, I was there.

  • Missing

    Nov 21, 2010, 07.56 AMby malky

    I can’t sew but I love the photos!

  • Img_0889_large

    Nov 21, 2010, 02.56 AMby smurfette2010

    Love the style! I am inspired to make some new clothes!

  • Avatar3_large

    Nov 20, 2010, 09.44 PMby carottesauvage

    Yeah !!!! Francoise,Jean-Pierre, Jean…. They rock!

  • Img_1016_large

    Nov 20, 2010, 08.20 PMby mje2009

    I love this style. It reminds me of my mom.

  • Jeans_sew_along_best_large

    Nov 20, 2010, 08.02 PMby Peter Lappin

    4 Replies
    • Project_image_1_large

      Nov 20, 2010, 08.09 PMby Jamie Lau

      Great site, Peter!

    • Missing

      Nov 21, 2010, 01.34 AMby daphne-1

      I loved your post too Peter!

    • Missing

      Nov 21, 2010, 10.00 PMby varenoea

      Hehe! Jane Birkin is pulling a Harpo Marx on Serge…

    • Vatten_large

      Nov 22, 2010, 12.25 PMby ichigogirl

      Oh my gosh! Now that I’ve read your post I totally understand why my mum was such a huge success (not famous, but she had a hard time fighting the boys off) in the UK and France in the late 1960’s. She looked just like the ye-ye-girls, but she was blond.
      Aha-moments.
      I also now know where she got her sense of style… great blog-post! An era worth reminding us about.

    • This is a question
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