No 528: Style Icon Jane Birkin

Monday, May 24, 2010


Another of Hermès favorite women? The charming Jane Birkin, best known for her personal and professional collaboration with Serge Gainsbourg, and the icon for whom the Birkin bag is named.

Jane Birkin was born in London and emerged during the Swingin' Sixties as a model/actress. Serge Gainsbourg chose her to play opposite him in Slogan, a French film he was directing/starring in, despite the fact that she spoke no French at the time. Despite her English heritage, she is probably best known for her flawless interpretation of French style, particularly during the 1960s and '70s.

In true mod style, Jane was a devotee of the mini skirt, which she usually paired with knee high leather boots. Her most iconic accessory, the straw tote she carried, is said to have been part of the impetus for the creation of the Birkin bag; legend tells that Hermès chairman Jean-Louis Dumas may have sat beside her on a flight, during which she bemoaned the lack of pockets in her Hermès datebook, and he decided she should carry something more fitting than a straw basket.

Since Birkin spent a good deal of her film career next to nude, and most of her evening gowns left little to the imagination, her hair might be the single most recognizable element of Birkin's style; she wore her dark hair long and straight, with full bangs. Pair 60s-inspired hair with full lashes, a French striped tee and flared dark denim, and Jane Birkin you'll be!

Photos c/o weheartit.

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