Roger Vadim's 1956 French classic ...And God Created Woman (Et Dieu...crea la femme) is the movie that made Brigitte Bardot a star. Though not her first film by any means, Vadim was her lover at the time and knew exactly how to play to Brigitte's strengths...both in her style and her character.
Brigitte plays Juliet, an 18-year-old orphan who is filled with enormous sexual energy. This electric and voluptuous beauty does not go unnoticed in the small seaside town of St. Tropez, and Juliet finds herself in the center of many a drama. She's caught between a foster mother who doesn't like her at all and a foster father who likes her too much. She's also caught between her unrequited love for one brother and the true love of the other. To stop from being sent back to the orphanage and madden the man she loves, she decides to marry the younger brother. All of this drama is watched with great interest and often even encouraged by her wealthy elder suitor, Eric Carradine (played by Curd Jurgens, who will eventually become a Bond villain). Though he attempts to care for Juliet as either a father figure or friend, Carradine finds himself resisted as her lover. Much to his surprise, money is never what motivates the impoverished Juliet. Only passion. Only love. Until then, the refrain of this sensual creature is that she cannot and will not be tamed.
The clothes Brigitte wears throughout the movie mirror her character. Designed by famed French fashion designer, Pierre Balmain, they are seemingly innocent yet extraordinarily sexy. Known for his sophisticated shapes and clothes representing the "architecture of movement," everything she wears somehow shows off her shape...either because it's a body conscious silhouette, it's unbuttoned just so, or it's not even there. For example, few movies open with a more effective device...a 21-year-old Brigitte Bardot lying naked in the sun. The audience is absolutely drawn in. Not surprisingly, from this moment on she was considered a sex kitten and became a style star. Countless magazine editorials, advertising campaigns, and celebrities--Pamela Anderson, Claudia Schiffer, Madonna, and others--continue to borrow from Bardot and this movie.
...And God Created Woman has been a huge inspiration to me as well with all of its style. For those who know me and my most important criteria for clothing--classic, colorful, sophisticated yet sexy--this movie has it in spades. The red wiggle dress in particular is a personal favorite. The film was also set in St. Tropez, which announced it as a vacation destination to the world, and there are many things about it that remind me of my home in Santa Monica and Southern California. Our sunny weather means that those who live here enthusiastically embrace resort style year-round. Balmain of course knew of this beachy style and added his own French chic for Bardot in ...And God Created Woman.
The perfection of a button-front cotton shirtdress, a versatile classic that's just as stylish today
(love her friend's polkadot skirt as well!)
This red boatneck wiggle dress is a huge influence and inspiration for me and GlamAmor
The first time we see Juliet in her black shirt and buttoned striped skirt
The white lace dress--though for a wedding, there are elements that are completely on trend right now
As any man will tell you, hardly anything is sexier than a woman in his dress shirt
The shirtdress again...becoming even sexier when wet
Juliet isn't the only thing of beauty in the movie--
Carradine driving his white Lancia Aurelia B24 Spider around St. Tropez
Juliet sunbathing on a broken down boat in the brothers' shipyard,
sharp contrast to Carradine's yacht moored in the harbor (below)
Literally slapped with the pain of love, Juliet dances to try and exorcise her frustration and passion
You can see these styles and more in motion in this montage from the movie