Charlotte Gainsbourg was born in 1971 to Jane Birkin and Serge Gainsbourg. As the daughter of two French icons, Charlotte began her life in the spotlight. At the age of 12, she followed in her mother’s footsteps and recorded a duet with Serge entitled “Lemon Incest.” The song consisted of lyrics implying the sexual nature of a relationship between an adult and a child and featured a video with a shirtless Serge in bed with a young Charlotte. Although this caused a similar controversy to his recording of the overtly sexual song “Je t’aime… moi non plus” with Birkin 17 years prior, rumors of any autobiographical nature of the lyrics were denied. “Lemon Incest” was included on Charlotte’s first album Charlotte Forever, gaining slight commercial success and prompting Charlotte’s career in the entertainment business.
The same year Charlotte also gained her first success in the film industry, earning the César Award of “Most Promising Actress” for her performance in L’effrontée. Charlotte chose to focus her career on film nationally and internationally, and has starred in numerous films including 21 Grams, The Science of Sleep, and I’m Not There. She returned to music in 2006, collaborating with Air and Jarvis Cocker on her album 5:55 which gained commercial success and reached platinum status in France.
While maintaining her career in the film and music industries, Charlotte has become the muse to many fashion designers and a style icon to women throughout the world. Her ease with fashion basics, similar to her mother’s, has recently gained her covers and editorials in French Elle and Vogue Paris. And her friendship with designer Nicholas Ghesquiere helped Charlotte land the Fall 2008 Balenciaga ad campaign.
With a style so simple and chic Charlotte exudes French charm. While she is known for her daringness to don even pants on the red carpet she is not afraid to throw in an extravagantly glamorous gown now and then. Confidence is the key to her style, and we hope she continues to inspire us in the years to come.