Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Jane Birkin's cashmere

Lutz and Patmos commissioned several designs by "guest designer" Jane Birkin in heather gray or mocha organic cashmere; this 3/4 sleeve sweater is $695 from Barney's.

I won't be buying, as largest size offered on the site is medium, but
I would love to try it, as it's a ringer for a Calvin Klein cotton interlock knit top I bought circa 1982. I think I paid $135 for it, a fortune then, but when I put it on, it was so magically cut that it changed my whole upper body. With that piece I learned the power of perfect cut on a deceptively simple garment.

It could be overpriced; you can find similar deep V's on a few cashmere sites, though the necks tend to be narrower, more masculine. Jane's looks harmonious and balanced. She designed it so it can fall off one shoulder. And zen zee French guy can kees eet. Or is it just that I love Jane in hers, and so idealize the garment?

She also designed a tank for the collection, and wears the two together. Vraiement belle, Jane!

13 comments:

Frugal Scholar said...

Though I'm indifferent to Jane Birkin (sorry), your post reminded me of the early days of Calvin Klein. My mother bought a coat from his very first collection. She bought it at a sample sale in someone's basement shop. We used to seek out Calvin at Loehmann's. Loehmann's famously removed the labels but we knew that the Calvin code was GJG. Imagine me--in college and grad school (no money, mooching off parents for much of my wardrobe)--wearing Calvin Klein. You are so right about the fabulous simplicity.

My most loved purchase was a tweed jacket. No doubt I donated after wearing for about 10 years. I would bet I could still wear it now.

Imogen Lamport said...

In that pic it looks very short through the body and kind of boxy - for that price I hope it's much better on!

Duchesse said...

Frugal: What great luck!

Imogen: Suspect that's b/c the sweater in shot is too big for mannequin- see actual one on Jane.

Deja Pseu said...

I love that v-neck. It may look boxy, but might be a good fit on short-waisted me. Too many non-petite size sweaters tend to be too long on me, tight around the hips and unflattering.

Someone said...

I wouldn't pay this much for simplicity, though I can appreciate good line for sure.

I had a gray lambswool dress in the early 80s that was just like this in basic line, only knee length. Loved it! (It was stolen by someone my then-roommate knew, or I'd still be wearing it - or trying to - today.)

My dress was not designed to slip off a shoulder, however. I have to ask, do we really need to see the Flashdance thing again? Some "styles" really need to die...and stay dead. :)

Duchesse said...

Someone: I regret that off a shoulder reads as "Flashdance", at least to some, as the shoulder is one of the loveliest body parts that can be shown in public.

Having your clothes stolen out of your own apartment is absolutely evil and I am sorry it happened.

materfamilias said...

Quite sure I couldn't bring myself to pay quite so much for simplicity, but the perfect v-neck sweater, in such an interesting shade -- neutral, but with depth -- if it fit perfectly, would be very seductive, particularly in a wonderful weight of cashmere. Mmmmmm.

Glove Slap said...

I ADORE this type of sweater and am constantly searching for it! It has such insouciance, and it hits the hip in such a flattering place. It may look boxy spread out on the table, but when you wear it, it rides up a bit to fluidly embrace your waist. I have a large bust, and this type of neckline somehow simultaneously plays it up and minimizes it... it suggests so much, is in no way obvious. Even the length of the sleeves is flattering and sexy. I have a black one, identical, Benetton.

lagatta à montréal said...

I'm very busty and love this kind of v-neck. If it is too revealing one can wear a camisole under it - high necks make my boobs look like a loaf of bread.

And this grey is one of my favourite colours. But I'd need an XL, so even if I had the money it would be out of the question.

I've also seen Jane Birkin's daughter Charlotte Gainbourg wearing similar sweaters, and Gainsbourg has a rather different build, ironically not as "gamine" as mum.

Frugal, Jane is great, and can be very funny, self-deprecating. I guess she figures larger in francophone culture, although she is British and still has an anglo accent in French (some think she cultivates it).

Duchesse said...

lagatta: I'll keep my eye peeled for a similar wide V in XL! A Parisienne friend who was married to an impresario met Jane Birkin a number of times, and said she was "amazingly normal, warm and funny."

Mardel said...

I too am basically indifferent to Jane Birkin but I love that sweater and the perfume made for her as well. Perhaps I should rethink Jane.

Anyway, I love the wide neckline, finding it very flattering and yes, seductive. Most Vs are far too narrow and then either sexless or shocking. I would absolutely pay that much for simplicity if it was perfect simplicity; something that sounds easy but is in fact quite rare.

Duchesse said...

If anybody's backtracking, and wonders why some women really like Jane Birkin (and for many I will be stating the obvious), they admire her grace, and a very specific relaxed, elegant yet tomboyish and coltish beauty. She has reached 62 without looking like a frozen caricature of her former self. She looks happy, natural and engaged by life.

The admire that, though the onetime partner of Serge Gainsbourg (one of the all time bad boys) she seemed to stay level headed and sane. Some admire her acting and singing.
She is an active supporter of Amnesty International and was awarded an OBE and the Ordre national du Mérite.

Mardel said...

I have come back to say that I never was a fan of Jane Birkin for her singing or acting, but I am increasingly coming to admire her for just those qualities you mentioned, although admittedly, I never noticed that when I was younger.