SUMMER VINTAGE: Breathless

Jean-Luc Godard’s 1960 Nouvelle Vague film is still wonderfully fresh and, even half a century on, it is one of the coolest movies in the history of cinema.

Text: Mary Giatra

 

What is not to love about the energy, the recklessness and the cocky youth of Jean-Paul Belmondo, who is on the run in Paris accompanied by a crop-haired American (Jean Seberg) who sells copies of the Herald Tribune on the Champs-Élysées? He is arrogant, fast-talking and chain-smoking. She is happy, ambitious and ultra stylish. Together they create the ultimate couple and a dynamic that, 53 years later, looks more contemporary than ever.

 

Godard’s modernity makes this film one of the best examples of New Wave cinema and it has been copied over and over. But the coolness of this film is not just about the walking and talking of the actors nor about the ceaseless jazz music and the fast moving scenes. “Breathless” stands out as well, for its ultimate style and fashion sense.

The costumes worn by the two leading characters are effortless and natural. The credits do not list a costume designer, and considering Godard’s creative freedom, it’s likely that Belmondo and Seberg were able to make many of their wardrobe choices themselves. This film is so far from the 1950s impracticalities that becomes the perfect introduction for the youth-leading 1960s and proves that a simple white T-shirt and a pair of cropped trousers are and can be the epitome of style.

Clockwise from top left:

Cat eye sunglasses, 13.26 EUR, ASOS

Straight-cut trousers, 35.95 EUR, ZARA

Plaited slippers, 25.99 EUR, ZARA

Bucket bag with metal detailing, 39.95 EUR, ZARA

T-shirt, 4.95 EUR, H&M