18 Jul, 2023

Je t’aime Jane

A tribute to the greatest (and most influential) style icon of all time

There will never be anyone quite like Jane Birkin. I have been obsessed with her (and indeed Serge Gainsberg) and her style since my early twenties. One of my first main fashion shoots at Marie Claire was inspired by Jane and Serge, and shot on location in Paris.  I later did another ‘Jane’ shoot, at the iconic Olympic recording studio (now my favourite cinema) when I was at Glamour. They were both so much fun.
So I felt I couldn’t not do a story as a tribute to her style. It’s definitely a very Douceur look, and one that I reference (probably mostly subconsciously) more times than I care to admit.
I am absolutely certain that you currently have/have had something in your wardrobe that was directing/indirectly influenced by Jane. She brought her own unique, distinctive British style to Paris in the Sixties, and never left. Pairing simple market style baskets with tailoring, pea coats and party dresses; Mary Janes with wide leg jeans/denim shorts; babydoll dresses with simple tan flat sandals/ballet flats… It doesn’t sound like anything revolutionary now, but she was the first to wear all these looks, in her very specific/unconventional way.
Then later in her life, always in her ‘uniform’ of simple white shirts/tees/silk blouses, boyish jeans, mannish trouser suits. Always chic, always timeless, always cool.
RIP Jane. You will forever be my ultimate style inspiration.

ps: if you are lucky enough to own one of Bella Freud’s iconic Je t’aime Jane (I bought my first one back in 2008 – a big spurge, even at cost price though the PR) jumpers, hold onto it tight (I have two – my daughter, Tabitha now wears one that I managed to shrink in the wash).

Main image: Pinterest