The Lesser-Known French Girl Inspiring My Spring Style This Year

When I stumbled across a photo of Françoise Hardy on Pinterest, I developed a serious style crush. I fawned over her cool-girl accessories, trend-led pairings and effortless elegance. It took me a good few minutes to realise that, in actual fact, the images of this style icon dated back half a century, and the girl I saw in front of me was now 75, yet her style could not be any more of-the-moment. (Born in 1944, the French singer-songwriter experienced success in the '60s and '70s, not only due to her music but also thanks to her subsequent modelling career and fashion icon status. And I can certainly see why.)

In an industry where cultural and historical references are regularly mixed up and rehashed, it can be refreshing to head back to the source for inspiration. For me, that's looking to women who exemplify the '70s aesthetic I seek to emulate in my own style. She's also one of the early embodiments of French-girl style—the sort of grown-up elegance that sets my heart racing, and which has now been passed down to the likes of Jeanne Damas and Anne-Laure Moreau. I wanted to share the Françoise Hardy love, so I've chosen my six favourite looks and am showing you how to re-create each one. So if you fancy a little respite from the fashion-influencer frenzy, sit back, relax and enjoy the timeless style of the original French It girl.

Blazer and Flares

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Style Notes: This is literally an outfit I copied last week. I'm having a bit of a love affair with flares right now, and a black blazer is just what they need to feel polished. This pairing would also look fab with a roll-neck. 

Green Everything

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Style Notes: The vivid green hue of this coat could not be more 2019. So many brands are jumping on the green bandwagon: From A.W.A.K.E.'s dagger collar top (very Françoise) to Zara's ruched midi dress, this shade is guaranteed to liven up your summer wardrobe.

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Style Notes: A statement trench coat is a classic item of clothing that has seen a boost in popularity this season. I can't get over how contemporary the coat in the above image looks, particularly with the checked collar. I could totally see a modern-day Parisian It girl in this outfit.

Double Denim

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Style Notes: The iconic '90s pairing has been given a seriously chic makeover over the last few months, casting off any tacky associations thanks to the stylings of our favourite fashion influencers. Ms. Hardy pretty much embodies how we want to look when we wear the trend: laid-back yet impactful, trend-led yet minimalistic.

A-Line Midis

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Style Notes: Is it just us or is everyone dressing like a librarian this season? Whether it's the pearls and cardis or modest dresses, clearly, there's a trend forming. This outfit consisting of an A-line midi skirt, jumper and kitten heels is a great example of that aesthetic, and we'll be copying this in the coming weeks when it's not quite warm enough for a summer dress.

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Style Notes: I bought the below Batsheva blouse last month, and it's already a firm favourite. I was inspired by the above shot of Françoise Hardy in a pie crust–collar blouse, and I love how it's a little more interesting than a traditional button-down yet just as versatile. I've worn mine with high-waisted trousers à la Françoise (obvs). Add a chain belt for extra fashion kudos.