Some of Rodarte’s Target Collection Echos Jean Seberg’s Style

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Pictured: Fashion Magic, Jean Seberg in her bow collar little black dress.

So I’m still coming down off my Jimmy Choo H&M fashion fix, and checking out what is actually coming for the Christmas holiday season. Naturally, my thoughts turn to Target’s upcoming Rodarte collection launching in stores Dec. 20th, 2009. The recent issue of Marie Claire magazine had a few more preview pictures of the collection. In the article, the designers, the Mulleavy sisters credit some of their favorite films (Bonnie & Clyde, Harold & Maude and Rosemary’s Baby) with offering them inspiration for their collection. Frankly, I don’t see it. I saw someone else in the pieces of the collection that I like. And I am not talking about the dreadful skeleton dress with sequins pictured in the Marie Claire article. I’m talking about the little black dress (pictured below) with the bow tie at the neck. The dress is a dead ringer for a dress one of my favorite film style icons, Jean Seberg, wore as Cecile during the nightclub sequence from “Bonjour Tristesse” (1958). Compare the photos for yourself.

Pictured: The Rodarte Lace Dress from their Target collection. The dress is rumored to be priced between $45.00 to $50.00 USD.

Pictured: Jean Seberg over 40 years ago, posing in a very similar style black dress with bow at the neck. She was just 20 years old.

As you can see, Jean’s dress had the same halter design top, exposing bare shoulders with the little bow at the neck. Her dress had the same flared full skirt and cinched waist as the Rodarte Target dress. I believe this dress was designed by Givenchy for Jean. Regrettably, neither she or her films were mentioned as an inspiration for the Mulleavy sisters in the Marie Claire piece. And the black dress is not the only reminder of Jean apparent in the collection. If you’ve seen Breathless and A-Bout-De-Souffle (as I have many times), then you know that Jean popularized the boat neck top with stripes. Here is a picture of her in one of those tops.

Pictured: Jean with some fabulous french accessories, a striped top, a Renoir print and Jean-Paul Belmondo.

Compare Jean’s striped top above to the top by Rodarte for Target in the Marie Clarie article below.

Pictured: The Rodarte for Target stripped top with faux-lambskin vest
(photo from Marie Claire)

I’m glad to see some of Jean’s style is still alive and well. I can’t honestly say that I am a fan of the overall Rodarte Target collection based on the advance pictures I’ve seen (the skeleton dress looks like a Halloween costume to me.)

But the black Jean Seberg style dress is as beautiful today as it was decades ago on the actress. I hope the version that hits the Target racks will be as similar to Jean’s dress as the pictures in this post are. If it is, then it will merit the approximately $45.00 USD price tag.

Pictured: The “other” Rodarte Target dress. Trick or Treat?

Je préfère le style Jean Seberg.

PS. Anyone who grows up in Iowa, learns to speak French fluently, becomes part of the French “new wave” cinema and sparkles on screen as Jean Seberg did deserves to be remembered!!


Since 2008, Mary Hall has been the author of The Recessionista Blog, which is read by thousands of regular readers in over 160 countries. An internationally recognized expert on the art of the living the good life for less, she has been a commentator on local, national, and international radio and TV shows. Her advice has been featured in over 2,000 media outlets, including The New York Times, Reuters, Life & Style magazine, ABC News, NBC News and now The Huffington Post, among many others.


  1. Message board

    November 18, 2009 at 7:10 am

    great modals….

  2. Marley

    November 18, 2009 at 2:35 pm

    I have to say, I'm already planning to buy this one and the nude slip dress with the bows on the shoulders- but I'm also totally entranced by the skeleton dress, and it may be coming home with me too.

  3. Target-Addict

    November 18, 2009 at 4:03 pm

    I really hope the halter dress is made well, in a quality fabric. Target has fallen short in this department with past Go International collections, but let's hope that's not the case with Rodarte.

  4. MH

    November 20, 2009 at 5:22 am

    Good point Target-Addict. Sometimes the samples made up for the press launch are not at all like the garments on the Target Racks. I really hope they don't mess up the memory of this beautiful dress, worn by Jean in 1958 in “Bonjour Tristesse” !!!! I'm trying to verify who designed the original. It may have been Givenchy.