Jane Birkin’s Refined and Bold French Style

His charming smile, boyish pout and irresistible British accent have made him an icon of a generation. Jane Birkin left an indelible mark on the fashion world with her natural charm, casual elegance and inimitable flamboyance. She continues to inspire designers around the world even today. She gave her name to Hermès, developed the Parisian girl style, and pioneered the mini and transparent dress. The Birkin helped set the trends of the 60s and 70s, while defining what it meant to be a French “It girl” for decades to come.

Born in England in 1946, the aspiring French beauty is a model, actress, singer, muse, mother and undoubtedly a style icon who continues to influence fashion. He grew up in London with his parents, Royal Navy lieutenant commander David Birkin and British actress and singer Judy Campbell. Heartbroken after her first marriage to composer John Barry ended in divorce, Birkin went to Paris with her daughters Kate without knowing a word of French and starred in Slogan with the musician Serge Gainsbourg, who would become the love of her life.

When he first arrived in Paris at a time when the French New Wave scene was flourishing, he launched his career by appearing in British films such as Kaleidscope and Wonderwall; She starred in films such as Slogan and La Piscine. Bonding with Gainsbourg, their creative and romantic partnership made them a bohemian, tumultuous power couple. Birkin said Gainsbourg was the love of her life, even after they split and gave birth to her third child with Jacques Doillon.

Although he was born in London in 1946, the French accepted Birkin as one of their own soon after he emigrated; her style is still considered the definition of Parisian chic as we know it. If you look back at Birkin’s sartorial history for “Parisian girl style” (it’s so much more than Bretons and berets), you’ll see that the attitude and elegance it modeled are part of it. When President Emmanuel Macron heard the news of her death, he described her as a “French icon”.

Jane had an innate talent for combining the most attractive elements of English and French style; it’s in his nature to see the basic and understated in new ways and add a Parisian sensuality. When to withdraw coldly; She knew when to playfully move forward.

The pioneering queen of many trends, she will forever be associated with the bold sheer dresses she wears to parties and movie premieres, and the all-too-familiar chaos of the wicker basket bag she takes everywhere. She preferred the sparkling charm of Paco Rabanne on the red carpets. She wore plain white T-shirts and jeans during her holidays in St Tropez.

Let’s leave it to Birkin to summarize her style; “My look is a cocktail,” he once said. “I wasn’t brought up as well as the French, but I don’t care as much as the English.”

Jane’s biggest fashion claim probably came from giving her name to Hermès. As every fashion girl knows, the Birkin bag is more than just a bag. Featured on the arms of ’90s and 2000s icons in Sex and the City, the Birkin is the symbol of ultra-high status.

The story of how it came to be is quite iconic in itself. After boarding the plane in 1984, while Jane was trying to place the straw bag mentioned above in the overhead compartment of the plane, all her belongings fell and scattered on her and the person sitting in the seat next to her. This person, incidentally, was Jean-Louis Dumas, General Manager of Hermès. Jane explained to Jean-Louis that she couldn’t find the leather weekender bag she wanted, and the pair spent time dreaming up the ideal bag for the flight. Dumas sketched out the designs on the spot and Birkin was born.

We remember the iconic style moments of the actress and singer, whose signature underlies many of the looks we consider classic, timeless and effortless today.

1968
Birkin paired her iconic wicker basket bag with high heels and a tiny, floral mini dress at the Cannes Film Festival, where she attended the Cannes Film Festival with Beatles member George Harrison. Before she had one of the most bags bearing her name, Birkin’s go-to bag was the woven basket bag. If you want to emulate that effortless French country style, this is the essential to have.

1968
Birkin wore a formal dress in France in the late ’60s that would be just as appropriate and stylish on today’s red carpet. The floor-length design featured cut-out details and an embellished top, which the Birkin completed with a matching beaded bag.

1969
Birkin knew how to combine British eccentricity with French elegance. Birkin, one of the early pioneers of today’s naked dress, had an iconic, completely transparent mini that she wore to the premiere of the 1969 French film Slogan. She later said, “I didn’t realize it was so transparent. It was an effect of the photographers’ flashes. If I had known, I wouldn’t have worn panties!” ” said. Birkin kept the sheer design simple with Carel Paris Mary-Jane shoes, a few necklaces, and a wicker basket bag, a must-have for both casual shopping trips and glamorous red carpet events.

1969
Another great example of Birkin’s love for the naked dress, and one of her most famous looks, was at the 1969 Artists’ Guild Gala in Cannes. She wore a long, crocheted, transparent white dress with a low-cut neckline at the belly level at the black tie event she attended with Serge Gainsbourge. While the Birkin perfectly complemented the boho vibe, she added a brooch in the middle to gently anchor the dress.

1970
Giving a master class on wearing trousers in summer, Birkin added a summery touch to the indispensable t-shirt and jeans combination in Cannes. She accessorised her white lace crop top and white trousers with a basket bag, dark belt and a key necklace that matched Gainsbourg’s.

1970
The name that comes to mind when it comes to free-spirited boho style… Birkin is known for never looking skimpy or understated when it comes to effortlessly chic style moments. This mini dress look proves her success in completing her look with jewelry.

1970
Jeans, a classic white top, a woven basket bag and her trademark tousled hair are the perfect example of Birkin’s love for simple and attractive tailoring. A timeless classic piece, white tops have always been a must-have in the fashion icon’s wardrobe.

1972
Birkin wore this barely-there metallic mini from Spanish designer Paco Rabanne while dancing with Gainsbourg. Jane, a mini fan, said she had her knee-length Paco Rabanne dress shortened to look like a long T-shirt.

For red carpet outfits, Jane turned to Paco Rabanne, whose fans include actresses from Françoise Hardy to Brigitte Bardot, and the designer created some of her most memorable looks.

1974
Jane started to inspire more and more event outfits day by day. At the Cannes Film Festival, she showcased her signature 1920s la garçonne flapper look with a sequined dress, sheer stockings, silver dancing shoes and a basket bag.

1974
Birkin brought a youthful glow to her pale pink velvet evening gown for the Cannes Film Festival. Making the look unique, the model emphasized the asymmetrical design with a pearl belt around her waist, silver heels, layered necklaces and her trusty basket bag. She added a red carpet touch by wrapping a silk scarf around the handle of her iconic bag.

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