She was the muse of many a creative individual. Director Roger Vadim (her then husband) cast her in two of his most famous films, Serge Gainsbourg made music with her. Bridgette Bardot defined much of the landscape of 1960s pop culture, just as films and music were going “international”. As an actress, she was not as accomplished as many of her peers, but she had a presence, a quality that eluded pure sexuality; like another Godard actress—Anna Karina—she was indefinable. Roger Vadim’s controversial And God Created Woman (1956) launched her career, sending her into the world’s spotlight. For better or worse, she became the example of the modern, liberated woman.
Bardot was also an icon of 60’s pop music and fashion, setting trends that would remain in the public’s mind for decades to come. When she starred in Jean-Luc Godard’s Contempt (1963) she cemented another of her famous “looks”: The French striped boating shirt and blue headband that she wore when she and Jack Palance take a spin in the country side in that bright red convertible. The outfit, like many of the clothes worn by the women and men in Godard’s films, help declared the movie’s visual intentions: bold, striking washes of primary color that virtually pop from the screen.