In the depths of winter, sometimes it’s necessary to indulge in a little imaginary cinematic transportation, especially if it means the hot, hazy landscape of the French Riviera. Our latest screen crush comes courtesy of sixties French classic, La Collectionneuse - and in particular the film’s provocative female lead played by Haydée Politoff.
Released in 1967 and directed by Eric Rohmer (renowned for his stylish, French New Wave films) the flick tells the tale of two young men escaping for a relaxing getaway at a mutual friend’s house in the south of France. Anticipating a carefree summer holiday, the two boys quickly become acquainted with a surprise house guest - the flirtatious, bohemian Haydée who shows up late at night with a different lover everyday. Accused of being a ‘collector of men’ (hence the film’s title) we love Haydée’s pouty looks, self assured attitude and playful wardrobe of bright knits and bitsy bikinis.
The film tells a tale of temptation - with the two men trying their hardest (and failing) to resist Haydée’s typically French charms. With lush cinematography of sweeping beaches and mountain views, La Collectionneuse visually ticks every Pinterest-worthy box and gets us feeling suitably in need of a Riviera escape…
However it’s Haydée we’re feeling most enamoured with. Whether she’s slumped on a velvet sofa, cigarette in hand, or padding about in a strategically placed bath towel showing off her seaside tan, she’s the epitome of French nonchalance - aware of her sexuality but displaying it in a way that’s completely un-obvious, and therefore more intriguing.
Although her lime green knits and cute gingham dresses caught our attention, here at Glasshouse we’re feeling suitably inspired by Haydée’s short, cropped bob. Full fringed and curling low around her cheeks, we love the boldness and simplicity of the crop - part Twiggy, part teenage boy. Despite the film appearing in the 60’s, the hairdo somehow transcends the era and ends up looking completely contemporary and not an inch dated. We’re always into styles that are timeless and uncomplicated, and Haydée’s certainly ticks the box.
La Collectionneuse was created with no budget - natural light was used instead of any electronic lighting and scenes were filmed with very few takes and plenty of prior rehearsal. We love the unplanned vibe and natural elements and reckon it ultimately contributed to the film’s lasting recognition. And who does seduction quite like the French do? A total babe with a ridiculously amazing orange bikini to match, Haydée’s our latest numéro un!
Words: Lucy Vincent