Style Inspiration from Queen Of Parisian Cool, Charlotte Gainsbourg

Words by Lauren | 7.21.14

It’s that effortless, je ne sais quoi that’s mysterious and utterly captivating — we’re talking of course about the elusive style of the French woman. Everyone wants it but it’s difficult to pinpoint, which is why we’re looking to the chanteuse who encapsulates all that is Parisian chic: Charlotte Gainsbourg.

As the daughter of 60s fashion icon Jane Birkin (namesake of the iconic Hermès Birkin) and Serge Gainsbourg, the actress and singer’s brand of relaxed cool has made her a muse for Nicolas Ghesquière at Balenciaga and now in his fall campaign for Louis Vuitton. In honor of her birthday, we’ve studied four of Gainsbourg’s best looks to steal styling inspiration for ourselves.

"Incompresa" - The 67th Annual Cannes Film FestivalLook 1: Cannes Film Festival, 2014

Gainsbourg’s on-trend geometric dress is straight off Louis Vuitton’s resort 2015 runway, right down to the double-strap Mary Janes. Like the original design, Gainsbourg chose to be bold and forgo lining underneath, but because the dress is tame otherwise and paired with polished heels, the look stays ladylike.

Style Takeaway: Cinch in patterned dresses with a belt in an unexpected color. Even though the runway went with black, Gainsbourg put her own spin on the look by selecting a shade completely different from anything in the design: blue.


Summer Series At Somerset House 2012 - Charlotte GainsbourgLook 2: London, 2012

While performing at Somerset House, Gainsbourg once again went with a sheer style top. (Are you sensing a recurring theme here?)

Style Takeaway: For a borrowed-for-the-boys look that doesn’t lose its femininity, try melding menswear with delicate fabrics. With long shirtsleeves and wide waistband pants, Gainsbourg’s ensemble is slightly reminiscent of a man’s tuxedo, but the gauzy fabric and clean white keep it from feeling too masculine.



"American Woman: Fashioning A National Identity" Met Gala - ArrivalsLook 3: Met Gala, 2010

With Ghesquière as her date, Gainsbourg chose one of the designer’s Balenciaga dresses done in a graphic blue, black and white print with sheen to spare.

Style Takeaway: Edge up a femme formal dress with downtown accessories, like a studded belt or chunky heel. While Gainsbourg’s mini would have looked spectacular with a black pump, her unexpected shoe choice gives the ensemble a quirk factor which consistently sets her apart.


Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival 2010 - Day 3


Look 4: Coachella, 2010

For her performance in Indio, the singer chose a white tank and leather pants with a quilted, cummerbund-like band.  It’s how we love Gainsbourg best: relaxed and rock and roll.

Style Takeaway: Instead of knotting a scarf around the neck, leave it undone and loose à la Keith Richards. The skinny version Gainsbourg wears almost looks like men’s suspenders and only adds to her cool aesthetic.

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