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Jane Birkin: 'I was '60s cool but wish I'd eased up on eye make-up'

Published 26/01/2016

Jane Birkin
Jane Birkin

Jane Birkin never conformed to fashion during her '60s heyday.

Jane Birkin wishes she'd ditched the heavy eye make-up as a youngster.

The British singer and actress became the poster girl for '60s cool when she started a romance with French star Serge Gainsbourg. Jane's style is still relevant in today's culture, with countless celebrities and fashion fans carrying around the famous Hermes Birkin bag, which was named after her.

Despite her unrivalled style, Jane would happily change aspects of her former look.

"Serge liked to go to fashion houses, and we used to go and watch the girls parade in the dresses and decide what I would wear and not wear, say, to Maxim’s for the New Year or something," she divulged to America's Vogue. "So it was Saint Laurent, maybe, and I had my basket and boys’ shirts. But in 1968, it was too much. I had the make-up and the short dress, all Mary Quant and Swinging ’60s. Now I wish someone had made me change a bit; if someone had only told me to get rid of the eye make-up sooner! I had to wait until I did films like Je t’Aime Moi Non Plus and Dust, I suppose - it was nice because then you looked like what you looked like in the morning."

Despite conforming to the '60s aesthetic, Jane reveals she was actually very free in her outfit choices. While on a film set she didn't always feel at ease, away from the rolling cameras the 69-year-old was totally comfortable in her own skin.

"If I wanted to be barefoot and wear a mackintosh, I would do it," she smiled. "I didn’t give a hoot. And Serge and I would go to the nightclubs - we could have gone in our pyjamas, but we wore T-shirts and jeans, and we’d say to people, 'Oh, come along,' but they weren’t let in. We were. I got away with a lot of things because people loved Serge. We didn’t have to conform in any way."

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