"When I love, I do it without counting. I give myself entirely. And each time, it is the grand love of my life." -Brigitte Bardot 

 Hello everyone, and welcome to our third edition of Who-What-Wear-Wednesday. Today we will be traveling back in time to discuss a French fashion icon who is known for her big blonde bouffants, her perfectly lined eyes, and adoration for animals. This week we celebrate Brigitte Bardot, who manages to be ultra glamorous at age 80, just as she was in her prime decades ago. Our style icon of the week came from humble beginnings, but her career quickly skyrocketed out of this world.

 Brigitte was born in an apartment near the Eiffel Tower on September 28, 1934. Her parents were notoriously harsh toward their young daughter, and showed her little affection. At age seven, Brigitte accidentally knocked her parents beloved Chinese lamp off of a table, and sent it crashing to the ground. Brigitte's heart shattered with the elaborate lamp, and she claims that her parents never treated her the same way again.

“It was if a barrier had been erected in the warmth of my childhood, with regard to my parents." Said Bardot. As a teenager, Brigitte was a graceful young woman, who displayed polite manners at home, at her Catholic school, and at dance class. The aspiring ballerina spent her strictly monitored days dreaming of escape into a care free world, and she longed for the love that her parents denied her. At age 14, the striking young Brigitte began modeling hats for her mother’s friend. Shortly after her modeling career began, Brigitte got the surprise of a lifetime when her picture appeared on the cover of ELLE Magazine. The cover model quickly captured the attention of France’s finest filmmakers, and Brigitte was promptly scouted to act in the comedy, Crazy For Love.

 Brigitte was not sold on acting as her profession, and she found the long days of filming to be exhausting. Her fiancé who happened to be a director, convinced Bardot to star in the 1952 drama, The Girl In The Bikini. Brigitte’s parents were not fond of their daughter wearing a risqué bikini on screen, and even less thrilled when their daughter flaunted all of her curves in the film. Brigitte became a pioneer in the American film industry due to the provocative roles she played in her movies. These films were considered indecent in America in the early ‘50s, but audiences soon embraced the sizzling hot blonde bombshell, and her films. Bardot’s ultimate breakthrough in the American film industry happened when she starred in the seductive film, And God Created Woman. Some Americans protested the film, but even more went to see it.

 At last, Brigitte had a way to liberate her inner rebel. She was a bohemian goddess that freely expressed her wildest fancies, while maintaining her image as a stunning and elegant French beauty. Acting was a form of release from Bardot, and she would no longer be the little girl who was constantly scolded by her parents. She was a strong, powerful bombshell.

 In addition to being a flirtatious film star, Bardot quickly became a trendsetting fashionista. She often wore corseted dresses, with voluminous circle skirts to accentuate her enviable curves. Her golden hair was swept up into a billowing bouffant, or flat ironed into silk-like perfection. Her large brown doe eyes were always exquisitely lined, and she complimented her bold eye makeup by wearing pale nude lipstick.

 Bardot often strutted down the streets of Paris and Cannes in ladylike straw hats, wide-rimmed white sunglasses, and sophisticated rompers. She wore tailored, slim fit capris that hugged her hourglass figure, and striped boatneck tee-shirts that caused a fashion phenomenon. Bardot specialized in looks that struck the perfect balance of allure and ladylike irresistibility. She developed a style that was bohemian and eclectic, especially compared to her blonde bombshell counterparts from the USA. Bardot didn’t fancy red lipstick, and nothing about her outfits were too perfect. Brigitte wore minimal jewelry. She was often spotted in a delicate silver chain necklace, and occasionally a beaded bracelet. 

 Bardot chose to remain in France, even at the height of her career, and declined to be a Hollywood-based starlet. Bardot resented the constant attention that fled her everyday life due to her film career. In the ‘60s, Bardot gave acting a rest, and picked up singing as a hobby. Whether she was behind the camera, or a microphone, Bardot continued to turn heads with her every move.

 Bardot was consistently a well-rounded person, and she invested her money wisely. She was, and still is an active animal rights activist, and she is often photographed with her beloved animals. Bardot has always felt a deep connection with animals, ever since she convinced her parents to let her keep a kitten when she was a child. After her 50th birthday, Bardot kissed the lavish life of a movie star goodbye, and put all of her affection toward her furry friends who gave her a sense of endless love. It was the love she was searching for. Her activism led her to meeting world leaders, and she launched a foundation for the protection of animals that reached over 42 countries. 

The classically beautiful Brigitte Bardot will continue to be admired for her effortless style, her carefree personality, and for the passion she puts into everything she does. Despite being recognized as a fashion icon all over the world, Brigitte's best accessories will always be her glowing grin, and the compassion she displays for all living creatures. This style star is truly beautiful inside, and out.

Here at Gem Steady, we love embracing fashion inspiration from the past. We want to know which style icons influence your everyday look. Let us know in the comments below which style icon we should feature next!