French Country Travel Life Legend is an apt phrase to describe the (medium) tiny village of St. Tropez. Legendary largely becasue of Bridget Bardot filming there “back in the day.” Sadly, DA BG was too young to have been there. (And on another continent anyway.)
Since that day, St. Tropez, more than any other French Riviera destination has been the “in” place to be/seen for movie stars, royalty, politicians, and assorted corporate criminals. All have one thing in common. Deep pockets. So it is here, to this legendary “place in the sun” by the sea that they flock to cavort, boogie down and misbehave with impunity.
My talented colleague Laure Van Ruymbeke (trying saying that fast after a few pina colodas) has the legendary details:
The birth of a French legend
Far from the glitter and glam for which it is well known, it was at the end of the 19th century that this small fishing village was discovered by a few Neo-Impressionists. For the first time they offered the world the Tropezian delights brought to light by the colours of midday through their paintings. Painters like Signac – who set up his studio there, Matisse, Picabia and Bonnard met there regularly and worked on similar themes, such as nudes, familial scenes andMediterranean landscapes.
In 1925, it was Colette’s turn to make a contribution to the village’s reputation. Overwhelmed by the charm of the provincial region, she took up residence and pursued her literary work from her house named ‘La Treille Muscate’, in the calm and quiet that the town afforded her. Playing with a renewed freedom and enchanted by the splendour of the landscape and her own garden, she wrote, “Upon waking, the world is new to me, every morning”. Troubled by the arrival of tourists some years later, Collette left the now too-coveted place in search of more peace and quiet.
The post-war years saw the Parisian intellectual elite and the big names in the arts and humanities – Gréco, Prévert, Picasso, Vian – discover the peaceful village. Now associated with sun and pure Mediterranean beauty, Saint-Tropez is the ideal place to relax and lounge around.
The 50s and the consecration of the French village
In 1956, the filming of ‘Et Dieu…créa la femme’, shot the the young Brigitte Bardot, and the small picturesque village to fame. Falling for the charm of its small lanes and Mediterranean sun, Brigitte Bardot decided to move to Saint-Tropez, giving it a certain star status.
By the end of the 50s, ‘St Trop’ had become the capital of recklessness, sensuality and freedom, and like Bardot, was known the world over. Bardot continued to bring fame to the port with her 1963, hit song ‘La Madrague’, named after her waterfront house of the same name. This was the era of the vichy dress, bikinis, and mini shorts.
The release of ‘Gendarme de Saint-Tropez’ in 1964, starring actor Louis de Funès, only served to increase the popularity of the village. Among other movies filmed in Saint-Tropez, ‘La Piscine’ (1969), brought stars Alain Delon, Romy Schneider and Jane Birkin to the seaside paradise.
Increasingly, tourists invaded the fishing village…
The ‘St Trop’ legend, still on people’s minds
The Tropezian legend has since been perpetuated by the press, which never hesitates to return to the origins of its celebrity. For example, on the release of their new perfume ‘Dior Addict’, Dior hired a young blonde model, not dissimilar to Bardot, with a mischievous allure, and chose the catch-phrase ‘Et Dior créa la Femme’ for the campaign.
The advertisement played on the nostalgia of old Saint-Tropez, from deserted beaches to small paved streets, and far from the yachts and currentextravagance for which it is known today. The reference to B.B. is undeniable, in the model’s resemblance and the invitation to “be iconic” at the end of the ad.
Read more about St. Tropez the French Country Travel Life Legend
and/or : Check out THIS VIDEO
THROW ME A BONE HERE, PEOPLE!
What are ya thinkin’?