Jul 13, 2012 6:04PM

Street Style Before Street Style: Anna Karina

We look back at the style of Jean Luc Godard's greatest inspiration.

New Wave French cinema darling Anna Karina well and truly captivated the fashion world. Born and raised in Denmark, she hitch-hiked to Paris as a naive 17-year-old where she was swiftly snatched up by the fashion industry and began making a name for herself as a model. It was back in those early days when Anna, then Hanne Karin Bayer, was christened by Coco Chanel. As she explained in an article with Interview magazine in 2001, Coco had told her "you’ve got to call yourself Anna Karina." Her fate was sealed.

Anna soon captured the hearts of prominent Parisians Pierre Cardin, Serge Gainsbourg and most notably, pioneer and French New Wave Auteur Jean-Luc Godard, whom she would marry. Together the pair produced nouvelle vague masterpieces like Pierrot Le Fou and Alphaville. Anna's outfits both on and off-screen represented a girlie, distinctly French style which would become synonymous with the 60s New Wave fashion movement. Think effortlessly thrown on knee-length plaid skirts, frilled collars and berets, and those unforgettable thick, sweeping brunette bangs. Candid shots of Anna and Jean-Luc pulling faces radiate a sense of playfulness, an omniscient quality in Anna's outfits.  

Anna Karina's simple ensembles have left a deep impression on the fashion world, with kids yearning to emulate the screen muses look today. Teen editor and queen of quirk, Tavi Gevinson (who was shot by Petra Collins for Oyster #99) has noted the actress as an inspiration. The look below, from Shakuhachi's new Cruise collection, has Anna written all over it.

Leesa Gallaher

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