When considering Jane Birkin for a style icon, I cannot ignore the fact that two of her daughters Charlotte Gainsbourg and Lou Doillon should carry the title as well. All three have that allure of effortless French fashion most women strive for, however, each interpret the look in a slightly different way which highlights their individuality.  Not only will The Rathaus feature Jane Birkin as a style icon, but we will also include , on a later date, follow ups on both Charlotte Gainsbourg and Lou Doillon to make sure we get the full story of this remarkably stylish family.

Jane Birkin made her debut playing a model in Michelangelo Antonioni’s controversial 1966 film Blowup. Although born and raised in London, Birkin then decided to move Paris to pursue a career in acting, modeling, and singing. She landed the lead female role in Slogan, despite her limited knowledge of the French language, where she met and starred with Serge Gainsbourg. The two soon began a long intimate relationship and recorded one of the first of many musical collaborations “Je t’aime… moi non plus.” The song featured erotic lyrics over the sexualized moans and groans of Birkin, causing quite a stir. Although many deemed the song too sultry for radio play, the scandal increased its popularity to make it a commercial hit throughout Europe.

Serge Gainsbourg and Jane Birkin

Birkin and Gainsbourgs’ daughter Charlotte Gainsbourg was born in 1971. The couple separated in 1980 and in 1982 Birkin had another daughter Lou Doillon with director Jacques Doillon. Throughout the years Jane continued to star in films and work on music, making her a French icon. She was nominated for numerous Cesar Awards for her acting and collaborated with many musicians including Francoise Hardy, Feist, and Franz Ferdinand. However, she may be remembered most for her inspiration of the Hermes Birkin bag, created in 1984. The bag is said to have been designed for Jane after the head of the fashion house saw the muse struggling with several bags while boarding a plane. The bag is now one of the most expensive and sought after accessories in the fashion world, with a waiting list of over two years.

Jane Birkin’s style is the epitome of French fashion. Chic and basic yet with such an ease it looks as though she just strolled out of bed, tousled her hair, and grabbed the few pieces of clothing that were lying around. This relaxed hippie vibe complete with her signature fringe hairstyle inspired women throughout the world to loosen the grips of 1960′s mod fashion for a more natural beauty.

Today Birkin has been concentrating her work more towards humanitarian efforts, however, she will be teaming up with luxury cashmere and wool knitwear line Lutz & Patmos for a Spring 2009 collection.