We all know that eternally elusive French girl look—the one that’s so effortless, it somehow treads the line between done and undone. It transcends trends even. But it only exists today because it was built on the discerning tastes of the generations of stylish French icons that came before us. Swimwear, of course, was no exception.
A quick glance at archival photos reveals that minimalist one- or two-pieces were favored above all else. In one of her most famous looks, Brigitte Bardot wore a simple, unfussy white bikini in the 1958 film The Girl in the Bikini. Her other favorites included solid one-pieces, and if she did venture out into prints, the silhouettes remained classic in style. French actress Jeanne Moreau, too, had a similar approach. She was once captured basking in the sun at Venice’s Lido Beach in 1961 in an incredibly modest, yet incredibly chic one-piece with a high neck and a low-cut leg.
In 1962, Catherine Deneuve made her preferences known when she was photographed in bikinis in either all black or all white. And finally, Jane Birkin was snapped in a bikini in 1969 that was wonderfully uncomplicated in every way—no random cutouts or superfluous details, just a simple triangle top, bikini bottoms, and a single gold pendant were all she needed to create an infinitely classic seaside look.
Not surprisingly, this attitude toward swimwear has carried over to today’s most influential French girls. We asked models Cindy Bruna, Michaela Thomsen, Louise Follain, and Kendra Kanzaky, co-founder of the Paris DJ collective Girls Do It Better, which swimsuits they gravitate toward and the one style they steer clear of at all costs.
“I like a great, solid color. A one-piece that has the illusion of a two-piece is great, as long as I can still swim well in it! I feel like swimsuit variety has increased a lot, so I’ve just evolved with the amount of choices that are now available.”
“I really like simple two-pieces from Matteau Swim or Eres, but I have a new crush: swimwear from Lisa Marie Fernandez. It depends on my mood, but I usually switch between a one and two-pieces. My priority is comfort at the beach (and to be cute as well!). The one swimwear trend I don’t get is the trikini—it’s like you can’t decide between a one and a two-piece, no?”
“I’ve never tried a string bikini because I don’t like it when people can see all of my body. I’m French! I prefer two-piece swimwear with high-waist bottom and a ‘60s-style top.”
“I like to keep it really simple toward swimsuit. I like one and two-pieces equally, and in classic colors or patterns, like black, red, pink, blue, white, or striped. I love a cotton swimsuit although they’re not the best to swim in or to do water activities in. I have this really cute Vichy-patterned one, but it always falls [laughs]. I’ve never been into the trikini trend—it’s a bit too sophisticated for the beach and it gives the worst tan lines. Also, I don’t like anything too flashy.”
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createdAt:Wed, 16 May 2018 23:03:33 +0000
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