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Words by Laura McLaws Helms

If you know anything at all about Charlotte Rampling, then it should be no surprise at all that the feline beauty always chose the unexpected for her wedding looks. Married twice, Rampling look askanceat traditional movie star bridal choices and found pieces that seemed truthful to her and unique.

the ménage à trois of Brian, charlotte and randall

A star since 1966, Rampling had run off to travel in Afghanistan and live on a Tibetan-style monastery in Scotland for a time following the sudden deaths of her sister and mother. When she returned to London and career, she moved in with a friend, press agent Brian Southcombe, at the bachelor pad he shared with his best friend, the male model Randall Lawrence. The British press had a field day with this situation – a ménage à trois of the very beautiful people. Brian became her manager and at some point her fiancé, though Randall was always right there with them. On February 17th, 1972, Rampling and Southcombe married at the Kensington Registry Office in London. Clad in a Missoni scarf-print dress and with a wide butterfly gold brocade choker around her neck, Charlotte looks luminous. Loose waves and a dazzling, happy smile top it all off. Unfortunately for us all of the press photos are in black-and-white, leaving us to guess at the colors of her dress. I’ve seen that Missoni print before in green, red and cream, but I find myself hoping that it was a rich blue on her. She’s carrying a bouquet of what looks to be hydrangeas, starflowers and blackberries – unique, delicate and very pretty.  

Still married to Southcombe, in May 1976 30-year-old Rampling met 24-year-old composer Jean Michel Jarre at the Cannes Film Festival. It was love at first sight across a crowded party. Leaving Brian, Charlotte and her son Barnaby moved to Paris to be with Jean Michel; their son was born prior to her divorce being signed. In October 1978, the pair married outside Paris in the grounds of a villa in Croissy-sur-Seine. Charlotte chose an antique Irish crochet lace dress with a short mockneck and wrist-length sleeves over a simple slip. Her hair she pulled back in a romantic chignon studded with flowers. A relaxed wedding out on the lawn with a towering cake and friend’s seated on lawn chairs – easy, pretty and very doable for all.

One look Bohemian with a touch of Romani, the other romantic nostalgia. Which is your favorite?