The Search for Perfection
It happened a little over a year ago. Jean Touitou, founder of the A.P.C. brand, asked Jane Birkin to design a collection with the explicit purpose of “perfecting her everyday outfits”. The singer and actress, famous for always finding that “too soft” jersey, the “disproportionate” coat or those “interesting but absolutely uncomfortable” sneakers, had accepted. The two fetishists of (false) simplicity thus started a long conversation in search of perfection. For over thirty years, Jean has been designing clothes that focus on the essential. Jane, for her part, has very precise ideas. The T-shirt? “It must be cotton or linen with a low neckline”. A cashmere sweater? “A bit generous, like a man’s coat to take refuge in”. She enjoys her “almost literary” way of talking about shapes and materials, with that British touch that makes everything so classy. She insists: “There are many women like me, looking for a style suitable for all occasions that hides our less slender forms, the dress that allows you to go to a party without being ashamed of being, as they say in English, “sheep in sheep’s clothing”. On the way, she offers a small lesson in personal color matching: “Only colors that do not create conflict. Since I am neither a brunette nor a star, I never use red, yellow, orange or green. Only gray-green to accompany my gray-green or blue-green eyes. And always gray, dark blue and black”.
The Result of the Dialogue
The result of this dialogue was a wardrobe of nine pieces (beige cargo pants, cotton tank top, canvas sneakers, etc.) which was put on sale in September 2022 and quickly sold out.
The Recipe for Effortless Chic
How did she become an inspiration for women of all ages and designers of all origins? With a recipe that is anything but extravagant: “a girl wearing a cashmere cardigan, an old pair of jeans and sneakers”, according to her own words. Of course, said like this it seems simple. But it is not. Jane Birkin in 1966, on the set of Blow Up, dressed by costume designer Jocelyn Rickards. Jane Birkin in 1970, in a London market, with the famous Portuguese straw basket. Jane Birkin in 1971, wearing Vicky Tiel shorts.