Style Crush: Jean Seberg

With old Hollywood style crushes it's hard to say if you like their style, or the character they played in a film, or the style a studio costume designer gave them--like did you know most stars in the 50s and 60s were dresses and had their make-up and hair done by the studio before they attended an awards show? So, when we're admiring a star from the past we're usually admiring a team of stylists and a very calculated image from the studio. Still, despite the origins of their style some had a presence that continues to make an impression today, one such icon for me is Jean Seberg. Her pixie cut predated Mia Farrow's by a couple of decades and her presence in French New Wave brings some Parisienne sensibility to this American actress. Style wise Seberg typifies tomboy style and a is a counter-point to typical 50s and 60s femininity--in a generation of full skirts and florals she was often in fitted pants and stripes. She was highly criticized as an actress in her day, but managed to remain open with interviews and dedicate herself to activism even in a time when it led to FBI phone taps and trouble in Hollywood. One of my favorite films of hers Bonjour Tristesse received poor reviews in the day, but to me it exemplifies the best of Seberg--beautiful and a little reckless, and most of a all a young women struggling to mature and grow up in a rather nutty situation (exactly what she was at the time as a young women shooting to stardom). She died tragically young, but thankfully her work has gained more credit in the past few years and she seems to be inspiring a whole new generation of young women.