CULTURE

A Look Back at the Style of Jean Seberg, the American to First Master French Girl Fashion

Jean Seberg was born in a small town in Iowa, but, almost accidentally, became a star of French New Wave cinema and a timeless style icon. (As it turns out, some of that “French girl style” Americans are always trying to emulate may actually have been pioneered by an American girl all along!) Seberg first shot to fame after winning a highly publicized contest to find a complete unknown to play Joan of Arc in Otto Preminger’s Saint Joan. Reviews were harsh, but marriage relocated Seberg to France, where she was eventually cast in Jean-Luc Godard’s Breathless as an American aspiring journalist who gets entangled with a criminal. The part brought her new fame and critical raves, and Seberg, often with her trademark blonde pixie cut intact, continued to act on both sides of the Atlantic for the next decade, quietly donating some of her profits to civil rights organizations. A $10,500 gift to the Black Panthers, in fact, caught the attention of the FBI. Under director J. Edgar Hoover, the bureau subjected Seberg to years of aggressive personal surveillance and spread rumors about her in the press. Seberg’s life story will be told in the upcoming film Against All Enemies, and producers have found perhaps the perfect actress to play her: Kirsten Stewart. Like Seberg, Stewart was picked out of obscurity for a highly publicized leading role that resulted in critical pans. She later reestablished herself as a respected arthouse star with the help of some French directors, and, also like Seberg, looks great with a blonde pixie cut. While Stewart, as far as we know, isn’t under FBI surveillance, President Trump did once spread rumors about her love life on Twitter. As Stewart prepares to play the icon, a look back at some of her best onscreen style.

1

Jean Seberg in In The French Style, 1963.

2

Jean Seberg in A Fine Madness, 1966.

3

Jean Seberg and Claude Rich in Diamonds Are Brittle, 1965.

4

Jean Seberg and Stephen Boyd in Kill, 1971.

5

Sean Garrison and Jean Seberg in Moment to Moment, 1965.

6

Jean Seberg in The Mouse That Roared, 1959.

7

Jean Seberg in Saint Joan, 1957.

8

Jean Seberg in Lilith, 1964.

9

Jean Seberg and Christian Marquand in Love Play, 1960.

10

Jean Seberg and George Peppard in Pendulum, 1969.

11

Jean-Paul Belmondo and Jean Seberg in Backfire, 1964.

12

Jean Seberg in Bonjour Tristesse, 1958.

13

Jean Seberg and Sean Connery in A Fine Madness, 1966.