While we consistently turn to modern-day celebrities for fashion inspiration and swoon-worthy ensembles, we can’t overlook the stylish set of ladies that have been turning heads and inspiring budding fashionistas for years—think Jane Birkin, Marianne Faithfull, Bianca Jagger and Edie Sedgwick, just to start. As such, we’re beyond happy to introduce a brand new story—Style Icon—to the Mama’s A Rolling Stone mix, with a slew of inspiration and ideas from the leading ladies of days gone by.
In today’s inaugural edition, we’re putting the spotlight on one of the doyennes of 1960s/1970s fashion: Jane Birkin. London-born and raised, Birkin first made a splash in the 1960s with a role in the controversial 1966 film Blowup and a scandal-inducing duet—1969’s Je T’aime… Moi Non Plus—with Serge Gainsbourg, her mentor and later husband. In the years that followed, Birkin became a bona fide star in her own right, with a slew of acting and singing credits to her name.
Then, of course, there’s the fashion. Birkin is well-known for taking risks and making bold style moves that include everything from ultra-sheer black mini dresses to thigh-high socks to tiny denim shorts and revealing lace gowns. In fact, Hermés chairman Jean-Louis Dumas was so inspired by a chance meeting with Birkin that he created the iconic Hermés Birkin bag, one of the most sought-after and desired accessories in the world, thanks in part to its exclusivity and unpredictable production schedule.
So, in honor of this ultra-chic and always fashion-forward muse, we have amassed a pile of Birkin-inspired pieces that we think capture her confident sense of style! With that, we present our very first Style Icon story! Enjoy!
1. Gypsy Caravan Envelope Cross-Body ($598) by Tylie Malibu
Like many fashion fans, Birkin had a surplus of go-to handbags to pick from, including a wicker basket bag and, of course, her trust Hermés Birkin. One of our favorites? A quirky buckled bag that she wore across the body, similar to this gorgeous envelope bag by Tylie Malibu.
2. Tencel Bra ($65) by T By Alexander Wang
Birkin was never one to shy away from showing some skin, as established by the slew of sheer outfits and skin-baring ensembles that she was regularly spotted in. As such, we think Alexander Wang’s triangle bra is perfect for the girl that dares to bare.
3. Dreamer Faux Fur Jacket ($115.97, reduced from $388) by Joie
Part of Birkin’s appeal was her ability to transform a single piece of clothing into an attention-grabbing ensemble—for instance, pairing an oversized fur coat with ink-blue jeans and messy bangs to create a show-stopping outfit. Accordingly, we recommend pairing Joie’s faux fur coat with similarly timeless pieces for your own Birkin-inspired ensemble.
4. Cashmere-Blend Dress ($72, reduced from $240) by Zoe Tees
Despite her English heritage, Birkin was often considered the epitome of French chic. As such, her wardrobe contained a mass of black pieces that were anything but basic, from little black dresses to Mary Jane flats to knee-high socks. This black mini by Zoe tees is perfect for a Paris-inspired closet.
5. Terra Shirt ($165) by Calypso
While Birkin certainly had a tendency to lean towards chic black ensembles, she wasn’t afraid to slip into paler neutrals and hippie-chic pieces like this lightweight peasant top by Calypso. Floaty and feminine, this top is ideal for a warm September day, especially when paired with wide-leg jeans.
6. Lariat Coin Necklace ($230) by Ben-Amun
Part of what made Birkin’s style so unique was her carefree attitude and laissez-faire approach—in other words, her casual “just throw it on” manner. Birkin was often spotted in layers of bohemian necklaces, similar in style to this mesmerizing coin necklace by Ben-Amun.
7. Riley Over The Knee Suede Boots ($825) by Loeffler Randall
One thing is certain: Birkin was never afraid to make risky fashion choices, such as pairing knee-high boots with hot pants. These luxe Loeffler Randall boots can be worn over the thigh, or by the knee, which is perfect for the city-living girl-on-the-go.
8. Cashmere Hand-Knit Sweater ($1,495) by Bamford
While a cashmere sweater is simple, with Birkin, it was never boring—in fact, there is a now-famous photograph of Birkin walking arm in arm with Serge Gainsbourg. Birkin is gorgeous in a luxe, loose turtleneck sweater, denim hot pants and patent Mary Janes, an effortless ensemble that we are positive you can emulate.
9. Dark Marble Hotpants ($50) by Topshop
As we mentioned earlier, Birkin was by no means frightened of big and bold style moves—including, of course, ultra-short shorts. For a spot-on Birkin-inspired ensemble, wear yours with a super-cozy sweater or a tight tee and wool pea coat.
10. Arty Gold-Plated Flower Ring ($195) by Yves Saint Laurent
Another well-known photograph of Birkin shows our muse staring doe-eyed at the camera, topless, in jeans and wearing a stack of oversized gold rings. While we’re certain you’ll find a more modest ensemble to put together, we know you can’t go past this YSL ring for a sprinkling of Birkin’s style.
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