With her intellect, extraordinary beauty, and, of course, her supreme versatility as an actor, it’s little wonder that Charlotte Rampling has served as a muse to filmmakers and fashion designers alike throughout her six-decade career. Whether it was her early days as a model in Swinging Sixties London that saw her become a favorite of Yves Saint Laurent and Helmut Newton, or her career revival over the past two decades working regularly with auteurs like François Ozon—or even her regular appearances in some of Juergen Teller’s most risqué photographs throughout the 1990s—there is something ineffable about Rampling’s appeal that draws us back to her again and again.
It’s partly thanks to the way in which her charisma on-screen translates to her personal style—and casting your eye back across Rampling’s outfits over the decades, it becomes clear her looks are a journey through fashion history. There are the printed miniskirts and waistcoats of her breakout moment in the 1960s, which give way to her first forays into tailoring; notably in a knockout “Le Smoking” velvet tuxedo designed by Yves Saint Laurent that she wore in 1974. Following her career hiatus in the 1990s, Rampling returned to the red carpet with looks that offer timeless sophistication: think razor-sharp suiting, crisp white shirts, glamorous Armani Privé gowns, and the occasional more playful piece by one of the designers she particularly admires, such as Yohji Yamamoto and Stella McCartney.
As Cannes Film Festival kicks off later this week—at which Rampling will be appearing in support of two films, Paul Verhoeven’s buzzy psychological horror Benedetta, and Arnaud des Pallières’s period thriller Party Of Fools—Vogue is taking a look back at Rampling’s standout style moments. By the time this year’s festival is over, you can be sure there will be plenty more to add to the list.