Brigitte Bardot with Jacques Charrier on their wedding day, Paris, 1959.
Seen here during her 1959 wedding to Jacques Cherrier, Brigitte Bardot looks both demure and sensual in her pink-and-white, Vichy check linen dress, edges in broderie anglaise lace and designed by Jacques Esterel. The first celebrity endorsement for Esterel, the dress was the source of worldwide gossip following the secret visits he made to Bardot’s Parisian hotel prior to the wedding. It was also the start of a long-standing association that led the multimillionaire Jean-Baptiste Doumeng to rename the house Benoit Bartherotte on the designer’s death in 1974. Esterel was an unlikely fashion convert: previously he presided over a foundry and was an exporter-importer or machine tools. A visit to Louis Féraud’s Cannes house persuaded him to try fashion in 1950, but lack of formal training forced him to employ two of Féraud’s salespeople before he finally launched his label with two boutiques in Paris in 1958.
—Phaidon Editors, 1998
Photo by Jack Garofalo.