As I mentioned in the last post, I love the fall season. Not only does the air feel crisp and cool, but a new season of fashion arrives to tempt us to refresh our wardrobe.
I’m no longer the “faithful follower of fashion” I once was; however, I still appreciate the creativity and ingenuity designers present on the catwalk every season. And the latest collections offer us so much more…wearable fashion.
This fall brings the return of the classics. Many designers treated us to a simple colour palette (black/white, neutrals), slightly masculine tailoring on blazers and coats, and the humble white button-up shirt was integral to many collections.
Is this the “quiet luxury” we’ve heard so much about over the past months? I do believe the current trend falls into this category. Although most of us are not 20-something supermodels, designers have offered classic wardrobe inspiration that can be achieved on any budget for every age group.
And speaking of the white button-up, who wore it better than Jane Birkin?
This summer, on July 16, Jane Birkin died. Her death had a profound effect on me…why? She was on my mind for days after, and I read everything I could online. Jane was a little older (not much!) than me, but she represented my youth. She married, had a baby and was cast aside by her husband before she was 20. Faced with the reality of supporting herself and her infant daughter, she left the UK to audition for a movie in Paris, which she landed (despite not speaking French) starring alongside Serge Gainsbourg; soon after, Birkin and Gainsbourg became “the” celebrity couple, and Jane’s acting and singing career took off.
Jane became the Parisienne “it” girl with her undone hairstyle and trademark fringe. Her style was casual chic…white button-up or t-shirt and boot-cut jeans, and she carried a straw bucket bag ( she bought at a London market for a few pounds) everywhere…even to red carpet events.
Anything but plain, Jane was a sexy young woman who exuded confidence and flair. Her aesthetic exemplifies that effortless “French Girl” style still popular today.
French President Macron’s tribute to Jane Birkin…
After Birkin’s chance encounter with Jean-Louis Dumas (from Hermes) on a flight to London, the Birkin bag was created. She asked him why Hermes couldn’t make a bag bigger than the “Kelly” bag and smaller than Serge’s suitcase.
Today, the much coveted “Birkin” bag sells for thousands of dollars with long wait lists of those who want to carry a part of history. In truth, Jane Birkin probably preferred her old straw bag. She thought the leather Birkin bag was too heavy, especially since she carried everything in her bag!
Jane Birkin continued to perform on stage into her 60s and 70s with her timeless and elegant style, proving to my generation of women that we can look good no matter our age or status. She was my style icon.
My next trip to Paris will include a day of walking in Jane’s footsteps. She mostly lived in the 6th arrondissement during her time in Paris…one of her apartments was on the rue Jacob, a short street where d’Angleterre, the hotel I stay in, is located.