Last week I brought a photo to my hairdresser of a young Jane Birkin. Pointing to the photo I explained, I wanted to look like her. He laughed. Luckily, we’re close enough I understood why he was laughing, no one except Jane Birkin looks like Jane Birkin and it’s probably better that way.
Early this week I had the pleasure of sitting down at The French Institute Alliance in New York City and watch Jane give an interview. It was in anticipation of her performing Birkin Gainsbourg The Symphonic at Carnegie Hall tonight. Prior to this I had never heard her speak, only sing. Of course I’d seen endless photos of her gallivanting around with a fresh face and the perfect amount of naïveté. Her speaking voice is just as breathless as her singing voice and it transports you down the path of the story she’s reciting. You must lean in not only to hear her, but you also lean in because she has an alluring quality that makes you want to breath in her essence. I understood why she continued to be Serge’s muse even after they separated.
What’s even cooler about this muse is that she also makes things. Serge’s music wouldn’t be the same without her voice. There’s a reason the world fell in love with her and we continue to bring photos of her to our hairdresser, we don’t just want to influence others as a muse, but we want to be active in our own lives. And Jane seems to always be in control of hers.