living in: breathless


My reason for falling madly in love with Breathless is two-fold. First, my savior Erica (our beloved Design*Sponge copy editor) suggested it as a Living In possibility. I am immortally indebted to this girl and knew I had to do it regardless of how great the film was, seeing that she saves me every week from especially embarrassing grammar gaffes. Second, next week I fly off to Paris for the first time in almost 10 years and I have that French je ne sais quoi on the brain, big time.

1. Wool Felt Fedora, $68; 2. Black Mirror Aviator Sunglasses, $28; 3. Chain Link Bracelet, $38; 4. Vintage Lanvin Dress, $800; 5. Ballin Leather Heels, $430; 6. Kate Spade Knot Studs, $45; 7. Vintage Thonet Armchair, $1,700; 8. Le Monde Newspaper; 9. Wool Tweed Tie, $41; 10. Hotline Phone, $48

Breathless is Jean-Luc Godard’s pivotal 1960 New Wave classic about a petty criminal who shoots a police officer, falls in love with an American woman in Paris and tries to convince her to run away with him to Italy. The dialog and cinematography have a pulsing energy and it’s impossible not to become bewitched by Godard’s vision of Paris. Jean Seberg (in the role that inspired a million haircuts) is absolute charm personified and wears stripes like no other. On my quick Parisian séjour, I will totally take a page from her chic American-in-Paris book. — Amy M.

1. Visconti Fountain Pen, $145; 2. Pendleton Throw Blanket, $78; 3. Michael Kors Watch, $306; 4. Croissants, $40 for 15; 5. White-Studded Bag, $48; 6. Espresso Saucer and Cup, $15; 7. Plush Stieff Teddy Bear, $40; 8. Red-Striped Sailor Shirt, $254

  1. Joanna May says:

    I had that haircut. It only works with skirts and heels. Love the stripes.

  2. Ashley says:

    Wonderful movie! What about a copy of the New York Herald Tribune?!

  3. Roboti says:

    Jean Seberg is so stunning. What a beauty!

  4. Stephanie says:

    I have that haircut, and it works with much more than skirts and heels. This looks like a great movie. I might just have to check it out.

  5. Sing says:

    I remember this film. Remember loving the styling, especially her hair. Her style could totally work today.

  6. Absolutely one of my favorite movie! nothing like it in the cinema history!

  7. Lizet says:

    LOVE THIS classic and timeless style. So classy and chic, hope it never goes away!

  8. Tina G. says:

    I had that haircut too, and I loved it! I want that clutch.

  9. amym says:

    Boo, the New York Herald Tribune is no more. I checked!

  10. CLF says:

    Adorable! Thanks for doing this film. Of course there is also the 80s version of Breathless, which is inspirational too.

    Stripes always look new and fresh.
    For a more affordable and eco-friendly striped t-shirt, I like Fioremark’s version. It’s organic cotton with perfectly matched stripes.

    DS should consider doing a striped t round up.

  11. great film! I’m also wishing to go back to Paris – enjoy!

  12. Wow. Love the dress and the mix of plaid and stripes!

  13. Panda says:

    i am also part of the haircut club and i thought it looked best with flats. love the vintage lanvin dress!

  14. Janelle says:

    I am so, so pleased that this is today’s living. Even more pleased than that time you did Big. That is how pleased!

  15. Danielle says:

    Ok…I need to see this movie. There is nothing more gorgeous to me than a woman who can pull off a pixie cut. I wish I was cute enough to get away with it, but I need my long locks to soften my face. Lovin’ all the stripes!

  16. Leah says:

    I know, I totally agree about Paris! I’ve been two times this year and its never enough.

    Make sure have a macaron at Laduree on Rue Royale and stop by Dior across the street.

    And if you want a true new wave/beatnik experience, stay at the Beat Hotel where Jack Kerouac hung out. Its totally cool.

  17. just came back in paris – this makes me miss it even more

  18. kep says:

    I hate to point out typos but this one is just too ironic! I think you meant gaffes, not gaffs…you may want to correct it once you google gaff. :-)

  19. grace says:

    hey guys

    sorry about that- i’m not sure if the mistake was an intentional joke or just something that ironically got missed. either way, i cleaned it up ;)


  20. Hazel Stone says:

    Also, you mixed up rolls and roles. Too funny after being so sweet to your editor!

  21. amym says:

    woooah. best unintentional “gaff” in recent memory.

  22. Nice! I inherited some gold knot earrings from my grandma a while back. She is more trendy than she knows!

  23. michele says:

    I just watched the Richard Gere remake over the weekend on “This” (a new tv network that every movie lover should check out). I was captivated. I had never heard of either film but now I will have to watch this one too.

  24. Ah…Paris. Be still my heart. I just returned from a lovely anniversary trip to Paris and Provence. I am gonna start stretching now, maybe by the time you leave I will be able to fold myself into a suitcase and come with you! Happy travels!

  25. I’m totally putting this in my Netflix queue! Another fantastic Jean Seberg movie, this one with a French Riviera vibe rather than Paris: Bonjour Tristesse

  26. Ah! So classy! Why is the world not like that anymore ?? Or was it like now but it looks better, more stylish and cool only in retrospect.I love the sixties and the black and white pictures, Jean Seberg, Paris- to die for !!

  27. Casa e Cose says:

    Hi! O la la Paris ….c’est tres bon e tres tres chic! I love the red phone!!!!

  28. Terra says:

    OOOh this movie is what made me chop my hair. Love it!

  29. Michel says:

    I saw it with my cousin at the 50th anniversary showing 2 months ago. The pixie haircut and B&W photography contribute to its timelessness. I’d like to see it again soon.

  30. Oh man, this cracks me up that you chose this movie. Just last week I was curled up with the boyfriend, he popped in this DVD and I… promptly fell asleep. Gorgeous people, gorgeous film, but not one of my favorites ;-)

  31. Erica says:

    Ack! My huge inflated head must have eclipsed that missing “e”. I blame it on Amy’s kind words ;) My apologies for the gaffes, folks.

  32. N'awlins Darlin' says:

    Gaw, those lips on Jean Paul Belmondo! Sexy sexy bad boy!

  33. MP says:

    This is my favorite Godard movie, and I’m part of the haircut club, too! I love the striped t-shirt + full skirt look– so casual and polished.

  34. Lauren says:

    OMG I LOVE this post!!!! That is one of my most favorite movies!!! I was gonna be her for halloween and wear a NY Herald Tribune sweater, but I doubt anyone would have got it so I didn’t.

    But it would be great to get my hands on one of those sweaters anyways.

  35. Meghan says:

    I’m going to Paris in 4 weeks, for the first time in 6 years. I have a desire to watch Charade!

  36. Susan says:

    Have fun. But anyone who buys a striped shirt for that much money is very un-Gallic *& silly).

    St. James shirts via a French online boutique (incl. duty & postage) are no more than $65-75 (this summer anyway). This American lunacy must stop. No French women in her right mind buys striped shirts for this amt. of money.

    1. grace says:


      I agree, I haven’t seen a lot of women in France buying plain striped shirts for that much. But I have seen them spend a very pretty penny on striped clothing from high end designers. I don’t think spending more than $100 on a classic piece of clothing is some sort of odd American thing.


  37. Jess says:

    What I love about this film is that all their clothes have become a cliche, but the actors just wore their clothes! No costume wardrobe! Which makes it all the more enjoyable I think…

  38. Rachelle says:

    What can I say, Amy, this is your best “Living In” ever! =)

  39. wonderful black & white images!

  40. jl says:

    the title in French is ” a bout de souffle” a classical movie indeed;
    Welcome in paris (a french fan of this website)

  41. Cecilia says:

    I have had that hair cut off and on for 50 years and have at least 5 striped tees or sweaters in my closet now. I loved the movie but never realized what an influence it was on me.

  42. I currently have this hair cut and was going to try to grow it out for my wedding next week but in the end decided I love it too much and it goes perfectly with the 50s style dress I had made! I’ve got to see this movie now – I love old black and whites and that era is my favourite (I think I was born too late!) I do agree with other posters who say that a pixie crops works best with skirts I definitely feel more feminine in girly clothes with hair this short!

  43. Laura says:

    I’ve never seen this movie, which is funny, because I must own 10 striped shirts. Ever since seeing photos from Breathless back in college, I’ve loved that style.

  44. judith b. says:

    Ashley and Amyn: see The International Herald Trib, the heir to the NYHT and still published in Paris…

    Love this film and how Amy perfectly has captured its iconic treasures. But it’s sad to recall how adorable Jean Seberg came to such a tragic end, followed a few years later by her estranged and brilliant author husband, Romain Gary, who, they say, never got over her…

  45. Megs says:

    I was so excited to see that my favorite movie was spotlighted! Godard invented cool, his movies have a heavy influence on most of our modern cinema. People should also check out Godard’s A Woman is a Woman and of course Contempt.

  46. Jane says:

    I have never seen this film but only Paris can look equally beautiful in black and white. It’s now on my must watch list. Feeling out of sorts as my local Block Buster up the street has closed. Not sure if Netflix is up and running in Canada yet.

  47. Nina says:

    I just returned from Paris after a decade hiatus and am on a dreamily jet-lagged high. Where else do stripes look chic? Pas Popeye, mais tout Pariessiene, vraiment!

  48. dominiqueb says:

    saw the film again last weekend.
    thought i’d check your archives to see & yep, here it is. Great post!!! SO happy to see you’ve featured it (this blogpost category is undoubtedly one of the most fanta-bulous ideas ever). The visuals & mood, the many stripy ensembles worn by seberg as well as that haircut… all so tantalizing!
    I didnt know much about Jean Seberg & looked her up, I was quite sad to learn about her unfortunate demise. other unknown fact she married the author of one of my all time favorite books (La vie devant soi / The life before us — GREAT book)!

  49. Paul Juliar says:

    I loved Breathless. Not only the way Goddard put the movie together but the way he used the backdrop of Paris. He had a great eye for design and especially that art deco door that you have featured here with Jean Seaberg walking through it. I was so inspired that I made that door but but my HOA won’t let me install it on my home. What a shame as my door is really quite beautiful. C’est la guerre.


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