I watched a delightful French movie last night (yep, that means subtitles to read) on Netflix. “Populaire” came out in 2012 and is about a young woman in 1959, who aspires to leave her life as a shop girl in her father’s provincial grocers and become a secretary. Big dreams in those days. Instead, she ends up in a national typing competition. It’s a cute, confectionary of a little story with a predictable ending but it gets the time period spot-on! The costumes, hair, make-up, music and sets are so authentic to the period, it’s like time traveling to the recent past.

Belgium actress Déborah François as the sweet and perky typist Rose Pamphyle.

Belgium actress Déborah François as the sweet and perky typist Rose Pamphyle.


At Rose’s first competition, she wears this dress with the scalloped yoke. It looks like an appliqué laid on top of the bodice fabric.populaire scallop neck

A look at the back of the same dress. How on earth did women button up the backs of their dresses? Especially if there was no one around to help?

Scallop neck back

What an iconic shot here with the Eiffel Tower, the gorgeous car and the two main characters in period correct costumes. I love Rose’s little blue hat that looks like it’s made of the same fabric as the dress. Her boss here, Louis, in his suit looks like something a business man would wear today. Mens business attire hasn’t changed much in the last hundred years.

Populaire blue dress

That enormous foam green colored typewriter cracks me up! Déborah François is a very slender woman who pulls off wearing those voluminous gathered skirts without looking stumpy dumpy.

populaire still

You’ll have to forgive the following photos. They are just screen captures from my computer of the movie. Here is “Marie Taylor”, the modern, model housewife in the movie in her cute top with the asymmetrical tie and the coordinating capris.

housewife3This is a very pretty dress with its combined halter strap and off the shoulder style. It looks like the halter strap ends at the side seams under the arms.

blue competition dress


Enter the French national reigning champion typist in her smokin’ hot purple satin dress with huge satin covered buttons down the side of the skirt. I dig her beehive hair-do.purple dressRose and Louis do a kind of Cha Cha in the living room at Louis’s family Christmas party.

dancing xmas 1

Then the whole family joins in the dancing.

dancing xmas 2This very pretty red dress is the finale dress.

Red dress 2A look at the back of the red finale dress. Those deep “V” necklines in the back are so subtly sexy and elegant.

Red dress backSo if you have an evening where you don’t mind “reading” a movie, go catch this little gem.