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Vogue Paris: Bardot Comme Jamais

The December 2013/January 2014 issue of Vogue Paris holds a special treat for lovers of Brigitte Bardot — exclusive photographs from inside her home in Saint-Tropez, La Madrague, as captured by filmmaker David Teboul for his film Bardot, la méprise. Our generous and polylingual contributing editor Kamila Brudzynska has translated from French to English, "Bardot comme jamais," the interview that Teboul granted to Vogue Paris. Merci belle Kamila ! J'adore Bardot toujours !

Bardot comme jamais
By Kamila Brudzynska

"So that's where she has always hidden? Brigitte Bardot is the idol and the inspiration of her generation." — VICTORIA BECKHAM

It has been forty years since Brigitte Bardot quit the cinema. In a magnificent film, the filmmaker David Teboul relies on very rare materials — exclusive access to La Madrague — and looks at the life of BB through an unexpected prism: her melancholy. Or how she remains one of the most beautiful fictional characters off screen.

How to touch on the Bardot topic today, forty years after her departure from cinema and after so many films and books have appeared about her?

DAVID TEBOUL: I did not want actors to take part because I wanted just the words of Bardot. I used her memoirs because I think she has said very interesting things, which she would not today. There is something in the order of present in Bardot’s past, there is something fictional and she makes it exciting, and I wanted to treat her as a fictional character. I did not want a factual portrait, I wanted the transfigured image of her. At first, I asked her to comment on a montage of photos of herself, but I quickly realized that I would have to do this film without Bardot and I knew that this refusal could only give something to the film. Finally, a ghost, it can be extraordinary.

How was your meeting with Bardot?

First, I talked to her husband and he helped me a lot. I told him I wanted to make a labor of love and restoration and it was the key. I did not have a meeting with her in La Madrague, but in her other house, in Garrigue, still in Saint-Tropez, where she was spending the afternoon with her animals. It’s a very simple house, protected better than the one in La Madrague, and she handles her foundation there. The meeting wasn’t the perfect one. She is an elderly woman, very angry and not serene, always with her characteristic passion, but with a bit of violence. I was troubled, because usually actresses are trying to be nice — not her. Bardot is a total renunciation. And at the same time, this is what fascinated me the most, that she lives in her own legend: her house is full of photos of her, books about her, etc. It reminded me of Gloria Swanson in Sunset Boulevard by Billy Wilder. With Bardot one is constantly in the present of her past. She told me: "If I am in your movie, it will serve you. If you have talent, you will be better off without me. It’s a present which I can give you, listen to me, it’s a present!” And then: "If you are not able to manage on your own, you won’t succeed. You must manage alone in your life.” From the beginning, she was taken by my beard: "Your beard is not possible. You have to shave it! Me, I could not!" But what I did gain was permission to film at La Madrague and her other house, and access to her family movies. And she gave me total freedom.

What did you discover by watching her family movies?

I discovered a little girl who wasn’t pretty. A bourgeois family. And the rapport with her mother, which was very interesting: she had a mimetic system with her mother, who was very beautiful and she comes into competition with her. She was free later thanks to dance. Early, Bardot is very physical. Moreover, she starts everything very early: she meets Vadim when she is 15 years old, she marries him at 18, she is a star at 20; in short, when she leaves the cinema in 1973 at 38 years old, she has already lived so much. What moves me about her is a melancholy which I see so early. Bardot is a euphoric melancholic, and like all euphorics, she alternates between the full and the void. This is the tension that I find beautiful, between a form of immediacy and a deep disenchantment that will, with age, catch up. She ended up being re-enclosed in childhood in her imagination, surrounded by her animals, that is to say, having exhausted all contradiction.

Do you understand why she radically abandoned the cinema?

She doesn’t believe in the truth of fiction, it’s a problem for her. She doesn’t believe in the characters that she interprets in the cinema, she believes only in a form of truth of life which makes it a bit tough. The great moments of Bardot are when the cinema and her life merge. The great directors were always inspired by the life of BB: in a very psychological manner with Clouzot, and much more transfigured with Godard, who shed his tricks.

You make Le Mépris (Contempt) her high point, as the only film which finally makes her a real actress…

Often, other directors relied on all of her devices, and Godard transformed her; he is the only one who really filmed her face, not just her body, and filmed in gravity, in a stripped game. But what is more important, he captured her disillusionment, her disenchantment — Bardot is a profoundly disenchanted person. I think that after this film, when she has reached something, she doesn’t have control, it’s over for her: she resigned from becoming a huge actress, from playing huge parts because basically, she resigned from work… She never wanted to be an actress. And what is beautiful, she will come to contradict her destiny, which was to be an actress, to reinvent a life.

Et Dieu créa la femme (And God Created Woman) is still a very important film...

This is an incredible gesture, that inspired the New Wave, without it taking that train. This film has been an accident, because with Bardot, everything is an accident: she mixes passion with passion, she is bored. She is a woman who is very bored. A great lover who is terrified of love, and who still thinks there is something that will be even more sublime. She always had the finest men, lesser known actors than her, Jean-Louis Trintignant to Sami Frey and Jacques Charrier, she remained the star. When she met the millionaire — Gunther Sachs, she said she had finally found a man on her level and she was still a huge star. But it’s a pure fiction. She doesn’t believe in the materiality of fiction and this makes her a romantic character outside the cinema. In my opinion, Gainsbourg was her last train because they both are the same, euphoric melancholics. She wasn’t an object for him but she became the subject. And there was something soft and feminine in her love for Gainsbourg. 

Why did you want to integrate the film?

I wanted to establish a dialogue between our two melancholies which are opposed by the difference in our statuses. This woman awakens in me feelings of loss… I find her very dark, but while being a party girl. And for Bardot, the truth is in life, while for me it is much more in the artifice of fiction.

Extract from David Teboul's film Bardot, la méprise, including interior footage of the private home of Brigitte Bardot.

Video of Brigitte Bardot singing "La Madrague" at La Madrague in 1968.

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Exclusive photographs of La Madrague, the home of Brigitte Bardot in Southern France © 2013 Condé Nast. All Rights Reserved.


Introducing… Paul Kolyer, Managing Editor

I am thrilled to introduce the newest addition to the I Want To Be An Alt team — Paul Kolyer, managing editor! A loyal reader of the site, his enthusiasm for Emmanuelle Alt and all things Vogue Paris is contagious and I hope that his passion will be an inspiration to all. Please join me in welcoming Paul to the team!

Paul Kolyer
Managing Editor

Bonjour Vogue Paris Fans!

Indulge me in a fashion fantasy; as Emmanuelle and I are dashing to the next couture show, Jennifer Neyt from vogue.fr pulls me aside to ask a few rapid-fire questions, as if I'm someone from the Fashion Stratosphere!

  Alber Elbaz.

  Lana del Rey.




  Anja Rubik.


  Navy Blue.

  Antonio Canova.

  Muscs Koublai Khan by Serge Lutens.

Fashion Desire?
  Jumpsuit by Balmain Hommes SS14.

  Margiela cuff.

New Fashion Find?
  SIKI IM Men SS14.

  Vegetarian Sushi.

  Minimalism and Fashion: Reduction in the Postmodern Era by Elyssa Dimant.

  Mies van der Rohe.

   Emmanuelle Alt.


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Paul Kolyer photographs © 2013 Paul Kolyer. All Rights Reserved.


Review: Vogue Paris December 2013 Issue

Review: Vogue Paris December 2013 Issue
By Heather Dunhill

Mon dieu ! Have you seen the December cover of Vogue Paris? Please tell me you have. It’s a seductively sweet portrait of the Beckhams; Victoria and David, that is, by the dynamic photographic duo Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin. I’m going out on a limb here and declaring it the most remarkable VP cover since Emmanuelle Alt took the reigns.

What’s incredibly cool is that the perpetually impeccable and always in demand Victoria Beckham served as the guest editor of the holiday issue, which includes a peek into her private life before and after David and their flock of four of the most gorgeous children ever. Victoria shares a personal side we rarely see that includes touching family photos and memories as well as some quality time with her friends Valentino Garavani and Marc Jacobs.

And the editorials are the precise blend of soigné and louche luxe from her Brigitte Bardotesque photos in "Beauté" to Violaine Binet’s interview "Queen Victoria" to "Vie privée" (Translation: "A Very Private Affair"). Victoria is proof that, as a woman, you really can have it all.

The entire tome is a lavish feast for the senses — perfect for the month in which we love to imbibe in all things decadent.

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Vogue Paris editorial image © 2013 Condé Nast. All Rights Reserved.


Review: Vogue Paris November 2013 Issue

Review: Vogue Paris November 2013 Issue
By Heather Dunhill

Most of us have a tried and true way of addressing a newly arrived issue of Vogue Paris. Well, I do anyway. I quickly buzz through then I give it a second go where I comb over the contents and little details. Of course, I have a few faves that I’d like to draw your attention to.

"Rendez-vous" always slows my initial thumbing through to a complete pause; it’s dependable eye candy. Really, if you don’t give it a second thought, I encourage you to take a peek. It features the next must-be-in-the-know highlights from art to music to people. Seriously. What’s more, they’re snippet snapshots quick copy to keep you current.  And, the photos have a captivating quality.

Same thing with "C’est Vogue," something gawk-worthy is front-and-center. This month’s "Allure Couture" first page highlights two pastel Dior handle bags, the word “fondant” is used to describe its decadence and I think it’s perfect. But it’s the Andy Warhol stiletto that will make you really want to own a piece of collaborative stylish art history. Don’t be too quick to speed past the editorial is styled by Celia Azoulay who has the potential to follow in the footsteps of Grace Coddington. ~Gasp!~ Did I actually say that??? Yep. She has tons of personality and original styling; the pix jump off the page. Or, you want to hop in, one or the other.

Of course, the cover story with Giselle is dynamic and divine, further proof that supermodels never go out of style, no matter the age. And, you can certainly rely on a smokin’ sexy hot layout, the epitome… non, rather so utterly French. It’s their right to remind the world they know the beauté of the bod and it’s not shock value, it’s fashion. Emmanuelle has reshaped and molded this tome into a must-read. Just what we’ve always wanted it to be…

PS: Be sure to catch a glimpse of the devastatingly gorgeous guy on pages 97-104. You just know he’s a bad boy who makes for a memorable date but he’s not the marrying kind.

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Vogue Paris editorial image © 2013 Condé Nast. All Rights Reserved.


Vogue Paris December 2013/January 2014: David And Victoria Beckham

From the Vogue Paris web site…

"Nous avons confié les rênes de ce numéro à une femme qui, dans cette collaboration, s'est révélée tout le contraire de son image. Spontanée, pleine d'humour. Modeste et dotée d'une saine ambition à la fois. Perfectionniste comme les vrais passionnés", écrit Emmanuelle Alt, rédactrice en chef de Vogue Paris, dans l’édito du numéro de décembre/janvier 2014. Créatrice établie et désormais incontournable de la scène mode new-yorkaise, Victoria Beckham a construit son succès aux quatre coins du monde: à Londres tout d'abord, où elle décroche en 2011 le prix de Designer Brand of the Year, à Los Angeles ensuite, où se trouvent sa famille de cœur et ses adresses fétiches, et à Paris, au rythme des nominations de David Beckham. L'homme qui partage sa vie depuis 14 ans est bien entendu à ses côtés pour ce numéro de Vogue Paris. Une love story immortalisée en toute intimité sur deux couvertures collector par l'œil attendri du duo de photographes Inez & Vinoodh. Derrière les robes du soir et les smokings impeccablement coupés, David Beckham se raconte sous la plume de Marie Darrieussecq, quand Victoria se dévoile sans fard dans une interview complice. Comme une invitation à passer Noël en famille, Victoria Beckham plonge dans ses souvenirs et ouvre les pages de son album photo. Des clichés intimes émaillés de dessins signés par ses enfants: Harper, Cruz, Romeo et Brooklyn. A quoi ressemble le quotidien d'une créatrice propulsée dans le firmament du star system? Vogue le raconte à travers un reportage exclusif et vibrant dans les coulisses de son défilé printemps-été 2014, mais aussi en se glissant dans les robes de Victoria dans une série retraçant sa vie à Paris, ou en l'accompagnant lors d'un tea-time avec ses proches: un casting de rêve signé Valentino Garavani, Anish Kapoor ou Marc Jacobs, qui lui a un jour donné son meilleur conseil "sois fidèle à toi-même et ne lésine jamais sur la qualité". Une exigence qui traverse ce numéro de décembre/janvier, des idées cadeaux ultra-luxe aux images inédites de la maison de Brigitte Bardot, La Madrague, en passant par les tablettes puisque Vogue Paris lance en simultané son édition mensuelle digitale interactive et enrichie pour l’iPad.
Vogue Paris, n° 943, en kiosque le 2 décembre

"We entrusted the editor's chair for this issue to a woman who revealed herself to be the absolute opposite of her public image while we were working together. Spontaneous and full of humor, she's modest, with a healthy dose of ambition. And like all those who are truly passionate about what they do, Victoria is a perfectionist," writes Emmanuelle Alt, editor-in-chief of Vogue Paris in her December/January 2014 editorial. 

While Beckham has become a fashion superstar on the New York scene, she’s built a global business empire, never failing to build on her success wherever life has taken her. In London she picked up 2011’s Designer Brand of the Year award at the British Fashion Awards, in Los Angeles she made a home for herself and her family, and, in Paris she didn’t skip a beat, following husband David Beckham as he joined football team Paris Saint Germain. Indeed, David Beckham, the man with whom Victoria has shared her life for the past 14 years, was at the designer’s side throughout her time at Vogue Paris, a fact that shines through on the pages of the issue and in Inez & Vinoodh’s tender shots of the couple. Later in the issue, writer Marie Darrieussecq sits down with Beckham to discover what makes the woman behind all those stunning evening gowns and impeccably cut tuxedo suits tick. And, in an extended holiday invitation to Vogue Paris readers, Victoria Beckham shares Christmas memories, family photos, personal anecdotes and even some of her four children’s drawings. 

So, what does a typical day look like for the designer? Vogue Paris reveals all, stepping backstage at Beckham’s Spring/Summer 2014 show and following in the star’s famously high-heeled footsteps to take in her favorite Paris hotspots. Back in London come tea time, readers join Beckham and friends Valentino Garavani, Anish Kapoor and Marc Jacobs, once advised Beckham to “be true to yourself and never scrimp on style,” as they reminisce and talk fashion. And, to look at the pages of the issue which sparkle with holiday inspiration, luxury gift ideas and a little winter warmth courtesy of an exclusive look at La Madrague — Brigitte Bardot's house on the French Riviera, a corner of the country beloved by Bardot and Beckham alike — Victoria has taken Jacobs’ words to heart.

Vogue Paris, n° 943, out December 2

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Vogue Paris December 2013/January 2014 issue cover © 2013 Condé Nast.

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