image for blog article about The outfits of a femme fatale; Catherine Deneuve in Belle du Jour

The outfits of a femme fatale: Catherine Deneuve in Belle de Jour

Wearing a wardrobe crafted by Yves Saint-Laurent at the height of his talent, Catherine Deneuve plays Séverine Serizy, a young frigid bourgeois housewife with sadomasochistic fantasies, who spends her afternoons as a prostitute in an intimately run brothel.

The clothes created by the french couturier for this ultimate fetishist film form a full set of sartorial metashots that Buñuel integrates in his cinematography. In a “psychoanalytical” exercise worthy of Gaëtan Gatian de Clérambault, the filmmaker uses each piece of fabric as a fantasmatic screen. The extreme stylization and sobriety of the outfits have the same quality of the fantasies that haunt Séverine.

Six variations on the femme fatale’s cold eroticism: splendours and miseries of the Parisienne.

METASHOT 1 Séverine with a red suit (a double breasted Eisenhower jacket and a sleeveless A-line dress) and a pair of Roger Vivier’s red patent Pilgrim pumps.

METASHOT 2 Séverine with a brown outfit: a fur lined double breasted leather coat, a sleeveless A-line dress with a polo neckline, a pair of gloves and a Kelly bag.

METASHOT 3 Séverine with a khaki shirt-dress (fly front, epaulettes, shirt cuffs, two patch pockets to the hip and thin gold chain belt), a grey wool military double breasted coat with three-fourth sleeves, a black wool pillbox hat, a black leather Kelly bag, brown tortoiseshell wraparound sunglasses and black patent Pilgrim pumps.

METASHOT 4 Séverine with the iconic black PVC trench coat, a black wool pillbox hat and brown tortoiseshell wraparound sunglasses

METASHOT 5 Séverine with a brown zip front fur coat, light brown drainpipe trousers and a leather hat with fur trim and brass studs.

METASHOT 6 Séverine with black zip front shirt-dress with white silk collar and French cuffs, a black patent square buckle belt and black suede court shoes.

Dress shown in image: Catherine 60s A-line dress in black and white