The Rules of Style: Catherine Deneuve

Suddenly I need a very high ponytail


Hoop earrings, juicy eyelashes and beach looks galore. 

It is possible that Catherine Deneuve, prolific French actress, sometime producer, often model and current apple of Nicolas Ghesquiere’s eye is one of the originators of the backslash career. That is, an occupational existence marked by one’s propensity to keep themselves outside of the boxes that define singular, focused jobs.

It is the millennial multitaskers who are often credited with the perpetuation of this contribution to the general workforce, but at the burnout rate on which we’re running, it’s likely that Deneuve will out-influencer us all. Partially because she serves as a muse, which says something about the intersection of her emotional demeanor and style, but also because, frankly, there is nothing I would rather do at this juncture, on a Friday afternoon smack in the middle of a balmy summer almost-weekend, than look at photos of the backslash pioneer and let my minutes of perusing turn into hours before boom! It’s time to go home.

Sometimes I wonder if she ever Google image-searches herself, which is a sort of a timeline of her past life married to her current life and archived by the Internet. Does it feel like a trip down memory lane? Would she guffaw at my calling her youth a trip down memory lane? What was she thinking while she wore that cardigan, resting against a stone wall by the seaside?

Did she wrap those bows into her own hair? And how does she do that thing with her eyes — where they’re mysterious and mischievous but also innocent and say everything but nothing at once?

Where will I find a shell-shaped compact mirror? Should I get a pair of gold hoops?

Start wearing my hair half up, half down? And the headscarves! Oh, the headscarves.

Is it time to go home yet?

Feature photographs by Silver Screen Collection and Larry Ellis/Express via Getty Images; carousel photographs by Larry Ellis/Express and Keystone-France\Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images.


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  • Alice Cote

    Fun fact: she is the only actress in France who did not need any post-filming editing done on her hair.

  • Alice Cote

    My comment sounds so nerdy.

  • Senka

    Always loved Catherine and her style. And her frenchness. So different form the frenchness of Bardot or Jane Birkin, but still very obvious. Few people manage to look icy and classy even while nude, yet she had mastered the art.

    • Maria

      The thing with Jane Birkin is that the fact that she’s not french makes all the difference. She’s a big influencer on what we now call the “french-girl-style” but a lot of what she brought to the table has to do with her britishness. From the way she did her eyes, to the humour, etc… She’s a good example of british freed of their uptightness by living abroad. In a way, she was just being her english rose self in a different environment with different things available. And it was all for our benefit =)

  • She is my ultimate style icon! Thanks for featuring her <3

  • Maria

    Can we also get a bit of love for her sister? Françoise Dorléac was a style icon in her own right <3

  • Verónica Villarroel

    Amazing post!!



  • A. Carnevale
  • Jhon Smith

    Here is a amazing T-shirt

  • Sara Lugo

    Her beauty just can’t be contained: she plays a princess turned pauper (-ess?) wearing a donkey skin disguise (yes, I meant to type those words) in the movie “Donkey Skin” and she still looks totally incredible. I highly recommend this movie, by the way, if you’re ever in need of a good, deep belly laugh.