This past weekend Le Duc and I dropped by a rooftop bar to enjoy a charcuterie platter. The doors burst open to admit some kind of fashion industry party, kissing and chatting and smoking.
I spotted a well-known TV and print journalist, and pointed her out to Le Duc: "the one over there, in the gray and black dress."
"Which one?" he wondered, which was a fair question, since all the women were thin, with long, straight hair, in similar short cocktail dresses.
"What do you think?" I asked.
"Jane Birkin", he said, reprovingly. "Jane Birkin."
By which he meant, he wished any one of these women had a Jane Birkin sensibility, instead of lank, blown out hair, tiny dresses that revealed strenuous interventions, a boatload of Botox, and an overall palpable attitude of effort.
It could be the difference between Toronto and Paris- and insecurity breeds conformity- but I doubt that's the sole reason.
There were several women in that bar (not one of them in that party) with an attitude of bien dans sa peau that Birkin has. Why did they have it, but not the women in the industry that spends its waking hours telling us how to look? My guess is that after years of grueling work, they absorb so many visual 'ideas' that they lose the sense of restraint.
He later remarked that the name of the perfume that Lyn Miller of Miller Harris created for Birkin, "L'air du Rien" means "looks like nothing", or more accurately, "looks like nothing but in fact may be quite the opposite."
Isn't that just it!