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12/16/2009

Icon Jane Birkin Turns 63 Today



British actress, model, singer and activist Jane Birkin turns 63 today and I wanted to take a moment to honor her wonderful presence in the world. Most fashionistas are familiar with her daughters, Charlotte Gainsbourg and Lou Doillon, and vaguely know that Hermes named the world's most famous handbag after their mother. This is the bag of waiting lists, Sex & the City storylines, and fairytales (I once saw Naomi Cambell on TV bragging about owning dozens). This is the bag every major celeb in the world carries and covets.


What I love about Jane Birkin's story is that her interesting and at times scandalous life helped define her mystique and lent a certain sexy je ne sais quoi, to the Birkin Bag.


First bursting onto the scene in 1966, playing a model in Blow-Up, Jane went on to work with Serge Gainsbourg, and the two soon became in item. When they released the duet "Je t'aime... moi non plus" ("I love you... nor do I") in 1969, the song caused a scandal for its sexual explicitness, and was banned by radio stations in Italy, Spain, and the UK. In 1975, she appeared in Gainsbourg's first film, Je t'aime... moi non plus, which created a stir for frank examination of sexual ambiguity. For this performance she was nominated for a Best Actress César Award. Garnering roles in many subsequent films, Jane also starred in two films directed by Jacques Doillon; as Anne in La fille prodigue in 1981 and as Alma in La pirate, which was nominated for a César Award in 1984. This was the year that Hermès named and designed the Birkin bag for her.



According to one story, the bag was designed for Jane after the company's chairman saw her struggling with several bags while boarding an airplane. Since then, Jane has kept up her cool, chic image as a singer and activist for immigrant welfare and AIDS issues.

Happy Birthday Jane Birkin!

2 comments:

MMW on December 16, 2009 at 4:36 PM said...

Happy Happy Birthday Ms. Jane. You were years before my time but I have loved you over the years nonetheless. Thank you for your influence on style and fashion.

xoxo MMW

Froso on December 17, 2009 at 9:04 AM said...

jane birkin is one of my favourite fashion icons! i hope there will come the day that i will have the bag that bears her name!

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