Fashion / Style

All of French style icon Jane Birkin’s best looks over the decades

All of Jane Birkin's best looks over the decades

It's a very sad day for Jane Birkin lovers around the world, as the iconic English and French fashion icon, singer and actress – and inspiration behind the eponymously titled Hermès bag – has passed away aged 76, in Paris. Birkin leaves behind her a fashion legacy a whole lot bigger than her namesake bag, however. Her style perennially enchanting.

Her face and career dominated the 1960s and 1970s landscape of fashion and cult French cinema, sparking a burgeoning obsession with her signature louche style that would continue for decades – from her lassez-faire fringe to her favoured French-girl uniform of shrunken T-shirts, white peasant blouses, cutoff vintage denim and espadrilles. She loved a babydoll dresses and striped Breton sweaters; gowns with plunging necklines often donned for evening galas on the arm of her partner, singer Serge Gainsbourg – an arm that was shared with an overflowing straw market basket, or, of course, her namesake Hermès bag.

Birkin's own version was a simple leather model, trimmed with charms and kitsch paraphernalia in her typical bohemian fashion. She was proof that lasting style emanates from a certain kind of attitude – an attitude the fused her tousled English demeanour with classic French codes.

She's one of the few who live up to the title 'fashion icon', someone who truly and definitively set styles for their time – one of the reason's RUSSH took the time to speak with Birkin for our 'Be Foolish, Stay Hungry' issue. She's adorned Tumblr feeds and Pinterest boards even decades after her retirement, and will likely remain a mainstay of fashion references for many years into the future.

Below, we take a look at some of Jane Birkin's most iconic style moments from over the last fifty years – from the silver screen to the streets of Paris.



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Images from La Piscine, courtesy Société Nouvelle de Cinématographie (SNC) and Tritone Cinematografica.