French icon Catherine Deneuve turned 69 this week. Born Catherine Dorléac, she decided to take her mother's maiden name, Deneuve, when she began acting so she could differentiate herself from her older sister, Francoise Dorléac. Sadly, Francoise died when she lost control of her car in 1967, the same year The Young Girls of Rochefort came out starring both Francoise and Catherine. While she faced this tragedy, Catherine Deneuve has also had much success. Since 1957, Madame Deneuve has been in over 100 films. Let's look back at some of the women she's played on the big screen. You might find some movie recommendations to add to your must-watch list.
>> Despite the fact that his Spring 2011 couture show was inspired by the English punk rock movement and the French can can, Jean Paul Gaultier didn't play any musical soundtrack. Instead, the models paraded in their mohawks and their individual outfits — named things like "The Clash," "Belle Epoque," "Anarchy in the UK," and "Moulin Rouge" — carrying a number in the old school couture way, with Catherine Deneuve calling out the number and then describing the looks in a voiceover. The show, which started over an hour late, culminated in the androgynous male model Andrej Pejic — Gaultier's new favorite — appearing as couture bride in a semi-sheer gown. As the model parade ended, Gaultier finally let the music loose, unleashing a Crazy Horse can can dancer to do splits and kicks down the runway to Offenbach as Deneuve and Pedro Almodovar cheered. The designer took his bow with Farida Khelfa, who walked and also recently completed a documentary on him.
Backstage, Jeanne Beker reports, Gaultier said he "has disdain for the red carpet. Loved seeing Marion Cotillard in his mermaid dress [at the 2008 Oscars] BUT.....He wonders why some houses actually PAY actresses to wear their dresses. And he misses CHER!"
Gwyneth Paltrow was in Paris last night for the premiere of her movie Two Lovers. Earlier this year she screened the film at Cannes, and once again her costar Joaquin Phoenix was a no-show. He appears to be sticking to his decision to give up acting, but their director James Gray was able to step in and walk the red carpet with Gwyneth. Fashion icon Catherine Deneuve was also on hand to lend some glamour to the evening, though all eyes were probably on Gwyneth in that racy lace dress.
To see more of glam Gwyneth, just read more
Applause erupted from the hundreds of onlookers as the designer's coffin was carried into the Eglise Saint-Roch for the funeral mass. A string quartet played as invited guests took their seats in a church decorated with jasmine and white lilies.
During services, former YSL muse Catherine Deneuve, visibly moved, gave a reading from a Walt Whitman poem, followed by a eulogy from Pierre Berge, Saint Laurent's former lover and long-time business partner: "He turned fashion on its head, making it socially relevant rather than merely aesthetic. With Saint Laurent, women ceased being merely clothes-horses or the objects of designer fantasies."
As expected, a number of fashion figures attended — John Galliano, Christian Lacroix, Claudia Schiffer, Laetitia Casta — but noticeably absent was rival Karl Lagerfeld, who according to a Chanel spokesperson was "away on business." Most of the women attendees were dressed in pants suits, in tribute to the designer's reputation as the man who put women in pants.
Yves Saint Laurent's body will be cremated and then scattered in the Majorelle Gardens in Morocco, where he spent much of his life. A short video of the services is here.
*images: source, source
>> As funeral services for Yves Saint Laurent near, the list of attendees grows — almost 1,000 guests plan on attending.
Among the substantial group, YSL's designer peers Valentino, Giorgio Armani, Stefano Pilati, John Galliano, Hubert de Givenchy, Alber Elbaz, Jean Paul Gaultier, Christian Lacroix, Hedi Slimane, Kenzo Takada, Sonia Rykiel and Jean-Louis Scherrer, plus his former muses Catherine Deneuve, Laetitia Casta and Claudia Schiffer, are all expected.
>> In the aftermath of Yves Saint Laurent's death Sunday evening, funeral services have been scheduled for Thursday afternoon, 3:30 pm, at the Eglise Saint-Roch in Paris. Afterward, YSL will be incinerated, and his ashes will lay in his Majorelle Garden in his beloved Marrakech.
Although details surrounding cause of death were not originally released, it has now been confirmed that M. Saint Laurent was suffering from brain cancer, which he was diagnosed with in April 2007. Lifelong business partner Pierre Berge and muse Betty Catroux were present at the time of death, and Catherine Deneuve arrived soon after.
The 2008 Cannes Film Festival wrapped up on Sunday and with it came the prestigious awards ceremony. The top honor, the Palm D'Or, was given to Laurent Cantent's The Class. The film hails from France, a country who hasn't received the Palm D'Or for more than 20 years. The Class is a documentary-style drama that Variety calls "a fully sustained immersion in the academics, attitudes and frequent altercations of a group of junior high school students." The French trailer seems rather subdued, but I have a feeling that it's probably as powerful as Larry Clark's Kids.
Taking second place, the Grand Prix, was Matteo Garrone's Gomorra. IMDB describes the Italian film, as "a contempo Neapolitan mob drama based on an expose of Italy's criminal underbelly." Even though I couldn't understand a word of the trailer, it gave me the chills. It looks similar in tone to 2002's Best Foreign Picture nominee, City of God.
Special awards were also given out to Catherine Deneuve for her performance in A Christmas Tale and Clint Eastwood for his direction of Changeling.
To see the foreign-language trailers for The Class and Gomorra, read more
Mes Stars et moi or My Stars and Myself, starring Emmanuelle Béart (left), Catherine Deneuve and Mélanie Bernier, is about actresses who go from fashion shoots to premieres wearing the trendiest designer brands. Supposedly, Béart sports Dior couture; Deneuve goes all out in Yves Saint Laurent, Hermès, Prada, and Fendi; and Bernier dons Lanvin. These lucky ladies can be seen on French screens in October.
Get a load of these beauties from around the world. Famous actresses such as Debbie Matenopolous (Greek-American), Catherine Deneuve (French), Sophia Loren (Italian), Lucy Liu (Chinese-American) and Gisele Bundchen (Brazilian) all epitomize the beauty traits that each of these countries are known for.
Now, it's not like I've trotted the globe trying all of the latest and greatest beauty treatments (although that would be a dream come true) but I have had the opportunity to try out some of the great imports that have crossed oceans to get to the United States. Below is a five post round-up filled with fun facts about global beauty—as well as my top picks for beauty products from Greece, France, Italy, China and Brazil. I hope you've enjoyed this series as much as I have.
Bonjour, mes amies! Since today is Bastille Day—the French national holiday—I thought it would be appropriate to talk about how les femmes françaises look the way they do. Think about some contemporary French beauties—Catherine Deneuve, Audrey Tautou, Juliette Binoche, Noémie Lenoir—and I think you'll agree that they are belle indeed.
Compared to the average American woman, our Gallic counterparts view investing in their appearance as an absolute necessity, not an optional luxury. They're more inclined to pamper themselves. Their biggest focus is on developing a beautiful, glowing complexion. French women of all economic means take pride in their skin, whether that means getting regular facials or buying the best moisturizer their budget allows. On a day-to-day basis, I've found that French women moisturize like you wouldn't believe. It's not as though you'll walk along the Seine and see women applying lotion in broad daylight, of course, but I've never met a French woman who didn't apply a cream every single night.
To find out the French approach to makeup, and to discover which products sell better in France than they do in the U.S., read more