I try to invite a level of seduction into everything I do and believe that life is meant to be flirted with. Claire’s Coquetry is a blog that highlights different things that will help you sex up your wardrobe, spice up your life and let your inner vixen claw her way out.
When I was 13 I saw an article in one of those Women’s magazines with a picture of Catherine Devenue in “Belle De Jour.” I cut it out, without reading the article and now have the same picture blown up to poster size on my wall. When I went back to see what the article was actually about, I was horrified to see that it was a write up on how not all French women are as glamorous as films portray them to be. I was shocked; my image of the French was a lifestyle of luxury with women being as posh as Marie Antoinette. I refused to believe it and still maintain the theory that all women of France are as fabulous and glamorous as they are portrayed.
I remembered this article on Sunday night while watching Mad Men. Megan Calvet was just a secretary until she started seeing Don Draper and blossomed into a French goddess. I couldn’t believe it. Even Lane tells Joan, the resident minx at Sterling Cooper Draper Price, that the new Mrs. Draper is “a definite coquette.” So, if a Canadian woman who passed as just a regular New York secretary for years can turn into a French sex kitten, anyone can. Sure speaking French might help, but the language of seduction is not always about speaking.
Though Megan Draper is actually Canadian, everything about her is inspired by the French New Wave. “The French New Wave was about an aloof stance against the corrupt, flimsy nature of the world. Instead of nihilism or hot-headed rebellion, the New Wavers sought truth in the romanticism of youth, beauty and art“ summed up Natasha Simons on the growingly popular companion blog “Mad Men Footnotes.”
A modern French inspiration is one of my favorite actresses Charlotte Gainsbourg. Gainsbourg is the epitome of French culture these days. All the girls keep their hair long and in their face and dress with slouchy, almost men’s wear-esque, ease. She is the daughter of the pioneer of the New Wave Serge Gainsbourg and his muse and wife Jane Birkin, of Herme’s “Birkin bag.” The woman exudes seduction and jumps from medium to medium to be the French inspiration she’s created over the year. Her latest album came out in December and her previous album was a collaboration with Beck.
Gainsbourg’s signature look has been adopted by girls all over France. She keeps her long brown hair unkempt and free flowing with bangs that hang in her eyes. Though she turns up the heat on the red carpet, and is the face of Balenciaga, her everyday look is pants with a button down or a t-shirt and blazer. She often finishes off this laid back look with riding boots. While her style is oh so French, its not inherently 60s but the pieces she uses are key to creating your own swinging sixties look.
The button down and knee length boots were favorites of girls of that decade, but the most important part of any girls’ outfit was showcasing her legs. Do you think anyone was looking anywhere else during Megan’s dance than at her legs? No, they weren’t. To accentuate your legs like Megan, focus on the mini. Flowing is always an option, but to get the authentic look, stick to the A line. As for shoes, Mrs. Draper preferred square-toed kitten heels, but it’s 2012 so let’s update it a bit. Either riding boots like Gainsbourg’s or platforms would give your legs some extra lift. The simplest way to get the look though, is stripes! Add a striped top to any outfit and you’re channeling a Godard starlet.
For hair and makeup once again effortless is key. A flowing bob or wind blown hair down your back were the big two looks. Megan ditched the bangs, but stars like Jane Birkin, Anna Karina, and Brigitte Bardot showed that a little fringe goes a long way. A fresh face is the last step, with any and all makeup on the eyes. Here’s Anna Karina in Jean-Luc Godard’s film “A Woman is A Woman” showing off the look I’m talking about in her own strip tease.
If you’re just here to get the dress worn in the now famous “Zou Bisou Bisou” routine, I have some bad news. The actual dress worn was found in a vintage shop in terrible condition, but the costume design fixed her up and gave her new sleeves and turned her into a look that’ll go down in history. As a concession here’s my first attempt at polyvore, Megan Draper style.