Manon 70 (1968) Part I

Director: Jean Aurel

Costume designer: Gitt Magrini

Soundtrack: Serge Gainsbourg

First published on my previous blog on 20th November 2008

Manon 70 is visually stunning. All the scenes shot in Paris and La Côte d’Azur bring back my childhood memories at full blast. The story is loosely based on French classical novel ‘Manon Lescaut‘ and is a complete letdown at the end of the film. Some sort of happy ending that ruins the whole point of the story.

So I’d recommend it purely for the fashion flavour. Before seeing that film, I had no idea what beautiful clothes Ungaro made at the time. There are so many featured, it feels more like a tribute to him than a tribute to l’Abbé Prevost.


Opening sequence in the middle of a fashion show. I love that coat, the cut, the colours so typical of that era (orange + brown)


More from the fashion show backstage, intriguing pink and turquoise coats


Manon and her boarding pass at the Tokyo airport. She’s just been spotted by a young handsome man (played by sexy sexy Sami Frey). The camera travels up and down Deneuve’s perfect legs…


Manon’s boots, they look like they’re made of plastic. The same pull-on boots are seen at the beginning of the film during the fashion show backstage.


Jetting from Tokyo to Paris in an immaculate Ungaro dress.


Close up on Deneuve’s light green hazel eyes. I love the emphasis on the lashes (both upper and lower), the subtle eyeshadow colour and the almost nude lips.


Big round shades and elaborate ponytail: The perfect 60’s girl


Manon has just landed in Paris and stormed off the taxi she was about to share with her current sugar daddy to jump into the taxi of handsome stranger Sami Frey.

It does look like a Hermès Birkin bag though it’s unlikely if not impossible. This is the only piece of luggage she carries throughout the film. Edit: I finally found out about this bag recently. It bugged me for years until I asked about it on a forum. The legend always suggested that Jane Birkin more or less designed or suggested the design herself for the Birkin when it’s seems to be a smaller version with longer handles of the Hermès “Haut à courroies”. Because my mind can’t stop rambling, I now wonder why Hermès didn’t suggest the HAC to her although it’s more a piece of luggage than a handbag. Unless they actually adapated the HAC to her particular requirements?

I take the opportunity to clarify on the exact pronunciation of Hermès. It’s “Airmess” not “Ermez”.
I’m French therefore I know 😉


OK, got that one? 🙂

Two more views on the HAC:

manon birkin bag

manon birkin bag4

NB: There are 6 metal feet whereas the Birkin has 4.


Cut to next scene, adorable profile, classic pearl earrings and a close up to her white thick cotton dress, brown fur and leather coat.


Late 60’s bathroom deco


Manon’s friend Annie (played by Elsa Martinelli) in her late 60’s lounge deco.


Interesting blend of textures, velvet trousers (“velours milleraies”), wooly jumper, amber necklace and furry pet.


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