Alain Delon’s 85th birthday: these are France’s style icons

Updated on November 8, 2020, 7:16 am

Style icon and actor Alain Delon turns 85. The Frenchman was not only considered the definition of classic “French chic” in the 60s – casual yet elegant and perfectly dressed for every situation. He and other style icons prove that the French were born with good style. © 1&1 Mail & Media/spot on news



It wasn’t just his steel-blue eyes and his cool and charismatic manner that made him an icon of his time. His fashion style also contributed. With his unexcited looks with half-unbuttoned shirts and simple cotton trousers, he defined the cool casual trend of the 60s and 70s.

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Picture of Alain Delon while shooting the film


The Frenchman is still considered a style icon today. Its look remains timeless. In 2012 and 2015, for example, Dior advertised its classic fragrance Eau Sauvage with photos of the then 32-year-old Alain Delon in the 1967 film “Die Abenteurer”. Other French people also show good taste …


Picture of Inès de la Fressange at an event in 2019.


Inès de la Fressange was the first brand ambassador for the French fashion house Chanel and Karl Lagerfeld’s first muse in the early 1980s. Although the fashion designer and the model parted ways after a dispute in 1989, Fressange’s reputation as a fashion icon has remained to this day.

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Picture of Vanessa Paradise in an orange-pink tie-dye dress.


The modeling actress and singer Vanessa Paradis was also von Lagerfeld’s muse in the early 1990s. Her trademarks are her tooth gap and her innocent charm. Her style can best be described as romantically playful: Johnny Depp’s ex-wife can often be seen in ruffles, flower prints and long hippie dresses.

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Image of Emmanuelle Alt during Milan Fashion Week 2018.


Fashion is her job: As editor-in-chief of the French “Vogue”, Emmanuelle Alt holds one of the most important positions in the fashion industry worldwide. The born Parisian embodies modern casualness and simple elegance. She often relies on classic black outfits and military looks.

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Picture of Carine Roitfeld at an event in 2019.


And Alt’s predecessor is also one of the most important style icons in France: Carine Roitfeld was editor-in-chief of the French fashion magazine from 2001 to 2011. Before that, she started modeling at the age of 18. Her style is the same as the way she works: unpredictable, standard-breaking, combined with classic elements.

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Picture of Julia Restoin Roitfeld at the Film Festiva in Cannes 2018.


Like mother, like daughter: Julia Restoin Roitfeld was born with a flair for fashion as the daughter of the former Vogue editor-in-chief. The graphic designer works for brands such as Miu Miu or Max Mara and also works as a model in front of the camera.

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Image for Coco Chanel in 1936.


Hardly anyone has revolutionized French and international fashion like Coco Chanel. At the beginning of the 1910s she founded the fashion label Chanel, which is still one of the most important brands for classic elegance today. With her casual, light cuts for the time, she freed women of the 20th century from tight corsets and stiff skirts.

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Picture of Coco Chanel in a classic look in costume, pearl necklace and hat.


With her designs such as the classic “little black dress” or the first trousers for women, she had a decisive influence on fashion – and continues to do so today. At that time, their radical innovations were considered to be stylistic and emancipatory.

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Picture of Christian Dior at a fashion show in 1950 at the side of his models.


While Coco Chanel built on elegant casualness, Christian Dior created pompous robes and tight silhouettes after the Second World War. Unlike Chanel, Dior consciously wanted to turn away from the austerity of wartime and instead design luxurious fashion that was often criticized as lavish.

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Image of Christian Dior (center) on board the


But despite the criticism, Dior’s fashion style prevailed and was also worn on the street in the 1950s. The designer kept reinventing himself and his fashion. We owe it to him for cuts like the “pencil line” or the “A-line”.

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Picture of Carla Bruni at a Dior fashion show in February 2020


Although the wife of the former French President Nicolas Sarkozy is Italian by birth, Carla Bruni took on French citizenship in 2008. Her fashion style also shows her attachment to France. The former model convinces with elegant and clean looks, sometimes glamorous in a Dior robe and sometimes classic in a Chanel costume.

© Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images for Dior



Picture of Yves Saint Laurent in his Paris studio in 1982.


When talking about France and fashion, it must not be forgotten: the designer Yves Saint Laurent, who died in 2008, is considered a revolutionary in fashion design. The fashion designer began as an assistant to Christian Dior and later made new statements with his own designs.

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Picture of Yves Saint Laurent in the office of his Paris studio in 1982.


After Dior’s death, Saint Laurent took over the management of the Parisian fashion house. With his first fashion show, he revolutionized the classic silhouette of women with the trapezoid line. With its straight line from shoulders to legs, the cut directs the gaze away from the waist and freed women from the ideal of beauty of the wasp waist.

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Picture of Yves Saint Laurent with his muse Catherine Deneuve.


With his suit for women, the Le Smoking, Saint Laurent set another important symbol for the emancipation of women in the 1960s. The suit managed to emphasize the female form elegantly and objectively at the same time. To this day, this piece is considered the most important design by the French designer.

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Picture of Catherine Deneuve at the Venice Film Festival 2019.


As early as 1962, the French actress Catherine Deneuve was the first woman to wear a suit designed by Saint Laurent and caused a sensation. The designer’s best friend and muse is still considered a fashion icon to this day. She also starred in over 100 films and promoted major cosmetic brands such as L’Oréal.

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Image of Brigitte Bardot in a wide, bell-shaped skirt with a petticoat.


Brigitte Bardot is not only considered a French sex symbol, but also a real style icon. Her look stands for the esprit of the 50s and 60s: teased hair, mini dresses, accentuated waist. Her fashion influence was so great that even off-the-shoulder blouses were named after her as “Bardot blouses”.

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Image of Léa Seydoux at a Louis Vuitton fashion show in March 2020.


Bond girl Léa Seydoux had her big breakthrough with “Blue is a warm color”. Not only her acting skills, but also her sense of fashion draws attention to her. The testimonial of the “Prada Candy” perfume impresses with its classic French simplicity. She loves simple shirts, jeans and blazers, preferably boyfriend style, and likes to combine them – typically French – with red lipstick.

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Picture of Marion Cottilard at a Chanel fashion show in 2019.


Marion Cottilard is also known not only as an actress, but also as a model and style icon. She has already modeled in over ten campaigns for Dior. She always proves courage with new cuts and patterns and has a knack for trends and timeless classics.

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Picture of Audrey Tautou at a Balmain runway show in February 2020.


Most people remember Audrey Tautou through her role as Amélie in “The fabulous life of Amélie”. But Tautou has also made a name for itself in the fashion world. She not only embodied Coco Chanel in one of her films, she was also the face for “Chanel No. 5” and Karl Lagerfeld confessed to being a big fan of her style. She embodies French girlish ease and enchants in simple as well as playful outfits.

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