? la Mode Style Guide: Wear black like Juliette Gr?co

Inspiration from a lesser-known style icon who rocked all-black looks

The Spectrum

We all learned that pink is the cool-girl color from Mean Girls but, in fact, most of the coolest girls around know nothing can be the “new” black – black is black. Black on black is often forgotten as new trends and patterns emerge, but time and time again, major style icons remind us that wearing all black is the chicest combination possible.

For the next few weeks, I’ll bring you inspiration from some lesser-known style icons that rocked all-black looks, exuding cool at every turn.

This week is Juliette Gréco: a French singer who dated Miles Davis, was friends with Jean-Paul Sartre (he wrote a few songs for her) and Simone de Beauvoir and who was arrested by the Gestapo as a minor in 1943.

Sartre once wrote, “Gréco has a million poems in her voice. It is like a warm light that revives the embers burning inside of us all. It is thanks to her, and for her, that I have written songs. In her mouth, my words become precious stones,” according to The Guardian.

She lived a life that is almost unbelievable – how could all these things have happened to one person?

Gréco, now 87, is still singing and still looking utterly chic and cool in all black.

Her style has become iconic for artsy-chic ladies. She wore heavy black eyeliner, over-sized black tuxedo jackets and loose-fitting black trousers, often donated to her by male friends.

Finding inspiration in older styles is never about copying them exactly; rather one must update and personalize the style to make it fresh and modern. By incorporating modern trends like vegan leather, nearly-legging styles of pants and lighter makeup, you can bring your version of Gréco up to date.

In this photo, Gréco is crouching on a wall in Saint-Germain-des-Prés, a neighborhood in the historically avant-garde Left Bank area of Paris. She frequented cafés in the area, becoming one of the most photographed girls of the time. Dressed in a long black overcoat, with dark colored trousers and bulky shoes, Gréco exudes cool. Both effortless and masculine, this outfit draws attention to her lovely bone structure, highlighted by haphazard bangs.

In true French fashion, it doesn’t look like she gives a damn about anything.

And there’s nothing better than an adorable little wiener dog, yawning like he also doesn’t give a damn.

To emulate Gréco, I paired a vegan leather blazer – appropriately purchased at an H&M in Paris about four years ago – with a crisp black button-up from H&M, loose black trousers from Ann Taylor and chunky black brogues. Other photos of Gréco show her in flat-brimmed hats, so I topped my head off with my trusty black bowler from Forever 21.

To bring Gréco into your life, listen to “Déshabillez-moi” or “Je suis comme je suis” and put on some oversized black clothes and maybe, just maybe, an existential philosopher will write a song just for you.

email: emma.janicki@ubspectrum.com