Costume In Film: Populaire

Sometimes there is nothing better than settling down to watch a good movie, especially if the movie features beautiful costumes and sets. I had seen Populaire a few times, and with the handy assistance of screen-shots, I decided to put a little post together here.


Populaire – set in the years 1958-1959

Directed by Regis Roinsard, the film was made in 2012. The movie stars Romain Duris, Deborah Francois and Berenice Bejo. The plot follows Rose (Deborah Francois), as she becomes Louis’ secretary, set in the years 1958-1959. Impressed by Rose’s typing abilities, Louis decides to enter Rose into speed typing competitions, first regionally, nationally, and eventually globally.


Rose reading ‘Le Petit Echo de la Mode’

Upon watching this movie a few times, the character of Louis strikes me as extremely controlling, to the point where I actually feel uncomfortable looking at him. The movie does has chauvinistic undertones, however this unfortunately probably reflects the realities of what life may have been like as a woman in the late 1950s. (Although Louis’ utter control over Rose is exaggerated to facilitate the plot).

LOVE this girl - the tie, the hair - attitude!

LOVE this girl – the tie, the hair – attitude!


Hands up!

Whilst the film may highlight the inequalities between the sexes during the late 1950s, it also draws attention to the excitement and opportunities the workplace offered women. When Rose is offered a position as a secretary in the city, she dreams of a new life – away from the small village she knows. This is a scene that many of us can relate to, and I love the fact that Rose collects fashion magazines, dreaming of a new, exciting life.


Rose jazzes up her typewriter with the use of some teeny tiny pots of paint


Then decides to co-ordinate her nails to match. (It’s actually to help her learn to touch-type, but it looks fabulous too!)


Matching your nails to your typewriter – the very latest trend..

The film also resonated with me, as when I was 16, my mother encouraged me to learn to touch-type (back then, like Rose, I dreamt of becoming a secretary. But my creative side overruled, and I decided to enter higher education – not looking back since!) When I was learning to touch-type, I found it extremely difficult. I tried to give-up a few times, but my mother always persuaded me to persevere. Happily, nowadays, I can touch-type – and it has definitely helped me with my writing work and assignments!


It’s a bra Louis, I’m sure you have seen one before


‘You will eat this toast, even if you don’t actually want it’


Rose’s top here has me hankering to buy Jennifer Lauren’s Gable slash neck top pattern now!

(PS – buy/view Jennifer Lauren’s Gable top sewing pattern here.) Visually, the film is stunning. Many of Rose’s costumes are typical of the earlier 1950s, reflecting her provincial upbringing. As she progresses with her typing accomplishment’s, her costumes and styling become more sophisticated. Also – for fans of vintage spectacle frames – this film is a wonderful resource! During the typing competitions, many of the competitors sport glasses, allowing a great opportunity to glean inspiration.


‘Let me just display our engagement ring as prominently as I can to the press darling’


Ready, set, type!

The movie is French, with subtitles (so it is not a movie you can put on then do other things to – ie sewing. You have to actually sit and watch the screen!) As the movie is French, I particularly enjoyed the utilisation of the fashion magazine Le Petit Echo de la Mode – as I have a sizeable collection of issues!


The movies namesake – the ‘Populaire’ typewriter!


Rose is now gracing the covers of magazines she previously would have pinned to her wall. Complete with multi-coloured nails of course.


Rose is obviously jealous of those a-maa-zing cat eyes (I know I am)

For a colourful sojourn into late 1950s styling, Populaire is the perfect movie. Particularly if you ignore/thrown popcorn at the screen whenever Louis is being a complete idiot (although – don’t throw popcorn, you won’t have any left to actually eat! Ha ha!)


A movie showing a woman with ROLLERS STILL IN HER HAIR! Yes!

I purchased Populaire on DVD a few years ago, but it is probably still available on Amazon and such-like.


And that’s all folks.

All images are from screen-shots of the movie that I took myself, then cropped/edited for the purpose of this review.

Have you seen Populaire? What did you think?

Until next time dears!


14 thoughts on “Costume In Film: Populaire

  1. theartyologist says:

    I love it when “vintage” movies get the details right- otherwise I am constantly noticing everything that is wrong, and pointing out all of the period inconsistent details!
    The Artyologist

  2. Jenny Frances says:

    Hi Gemma!
    It is a great movie, although I had to watch it a few times just so I could take in all the styling details, along with the plot (as it is subtitled!) Hope you are doing fine and dandy, I am currently working on a special something for you! 🙂 xx

  3. Jenny Frances says:

    I know exactly what you mean! I just love how in Populaire they incorporate fashion magazines of the period, then even have Rose’s character modelling on the covers later in the movie! Little details like that get me really excited, and allow me to enjoy the movie all the more! 🙂 xx

  4. Harlow says:

    I loved this film for all of the obvious aspects – the fashion and the story, but my favorite part of it was actually the sound track! I listened to it non stop after I first saw the movie!

  5. darkandbrightart says:

    Such a beautifully-made, colourful and entertaining film. Enjoyed your pictures and comments. Rose looks lovely throughout and is an engaging heroine, but agree with you about Louis. Adore Rose’s nails! Samantha x

  6. Jenny Frances says:

    Hello sweetie! I actually cannot recall the soundtrack, my mind must have been too focused on the fashions! I will definitely look-out for the soundtrack next time I watch it now though 🙂

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