I’ve often felt like perhaps I wasn’t born in quite the right era. Perhaps I would have suited the roaring twenties better? Or perhaps the 50s? No, it was without a doubt the 60s that would’ve been my style. A little feminist revolutionary rocking and rolling to the new found groove. I love the make-up, the style and I love the stars that emerged from this fantastic era.
One in particular, Jane Birkin, regularly inspired my teenage looks, even before my passion for Hermes was nurtured. During the late 1960s she had the chic, edgy but elegant style arena wrapped up. She was the epitome of natural beauty with her swinging London fashion easing her into the cool counter cultures and a fantasy film repertoire. Birkin appeared in the psychedelic film ‘Wonderwall’ (1968) and then co-starring alongside Serge Gainsbourg in ‘Slogan’ (1969). The two performed a duet that was to cause scandal for its sexual explicitness and was banned on radio in UK, Spain and Italy. And so began her career. Actress, singer and style icon Jane Birkin was born.
The style facet is the one that interests me the most. She has such a classic, natural beauty and yet she was always ahead of her time and a true trendsetter. Carrying a basket out to black-tie events, wearing her hair in bangs, the sex kitten black kohl – all looks to be emulated across the globe by young admiring women.
It was Hermes that would eventually immortalise Jane Birkin’s name in fashion history. As the story goes Birkin was sat next to Hermès chief executive Jean-Louis Dumas on a flight from Paris to London in 1981. After placing her infamous straw bag in the overhead compartment the contents fell out all over the plane’s floor, including her Hermes diary. Birkin confessed to Dumas that it had been difficult to find a leather weekend bag she liked. Thus, in 1984, he created a roomy black leather bag just for her.
The Birkin bag personifies Jane Birkin’s style completely. It is classic, beautiful and timeless. Always in fashion and forever coveted, Hermes captured the stars aura exactly. If only we could step back in time and swing out in a denim flare and middle parting to boot!