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Fashion Icon: Catherine Deneuve

Catherine Deneuve received the 39th annual Chaplin Award from the Film Society of Lincoln Center this year. To which we say, what took you so long? The French actress, now 68, has been the muse of all muses to fashion designers since Yves Saint Laurent designed her costumes for Luis Buñuel’s 1967 masterpiece Belle de Jour. At his show last month, Joseph Altuzarra quoted the iconic film’s little black dresses and bedroom hair, and last October, Stefano Pilati put bon chic, bon genre babes with dark sides on his penultimate runway for YSL.

Half a century after her doe eyes and lofty cheekbones first graced the screen in André Hunebelle’s Les Collégiennes, the grande dame of French cinema’s still got it. No one can make the flashbulbs pop quite like she can, as anybody who’s witnessed her scene-stealing entrances at fashion shows can attest. She’ll be stealing scenes once again in her upcoming film As Linhas de Torres, which co-stars John Malkovich and her daughter Chiara Mastroianni.

“Being an actress is a very physical thing. If I didn’t look the way I looked, I would have never started in films,” Deneuve has said. There’s certainly more to her success than just a pretty face, but without it, the last 45 years of fashion would’ve looked a heck of a lot different.

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