I still avoid any shop where I couldn't imagine running into her. (Le Duc once said, surveying a crowd at a rooftop bar, "Not one woman here looks like Jane Birkin". I guess the crush is family-wide.)
However, like any crush, you eventually have your head turned by others, and these days I–and many other women–admire American Linda Rodin, former stylist and model, current skin-care entrepreneur.
She is quirkier, more costumey and recherché than Birkin (as you would expect from a stylist), and makes that grey hair look terrific. (She cuts it herself, gets weekly blowouts and uses Clairol Shimmer Lights shampoo.)
"I don't buy anything I can't wash." She buys Uniqulo $39 jeans in quantity.
"I’m a creature of habit, and I’m easy. I can’t bear to do anything with my hair—I’ve been wearing it up for the past 10 years and I cut it myself. I started going gray at 35, and I just let it go."
"I can’t always afford to buy designers—unless they’re on sale... I only buy designers for very special things and for handbags and shoes."
She mixes these with items from discounters, department stores, markets or little shops she finds on her travels, searching for pieces like the vintage Czech blouse, left.
"I won’t wear high heals anymore–except maybe once a year—because I’m not comfortable. I love ballet slippers and Mary Janes and lace-up men’s shoes."
"You can't chase youth; you'll just look old with a facelift." (She mentions using restylane and getting facials monthly.)
|Photo: Sarah Lee for The Guardian|
Yes, both have maintained their lithe model figures and have beautiful bone structure.
(Before new readers jump on me, it is not their slimness that incites my admiration, it's their self-knowledge. I've been looking for ages for a rondelette Birkin equivalent; Adele might age into it, she's elegant.)
Both can afford great skincare so they can say they don't need makeup. (Birkin uses the horrifyingly expensive Sisleya, Rodin her own pricey product, Olio Lusso.)
They have access to fashion industry luminaries, which means deals, perks, gifts: considerable advantages. But let's not throw the beauty out with her bathwater: they have the eye. Each has a fondness for found treasures and personal objects, creating living spaces full of memories and meaning.
For a peek at Rodin's NYC apartment, see this slideshow at refinery29, written by Christine Barberich.
Each says that her approach is to float above the trends, to live with what they have become (though Birkin uses haircolour), to reject surgery on their faces. These are two cool girls, but also grown women. Should you stand next to them, they would look at ease.
I like it, and I'm seeing it on the street more and more, regardless of size or shape. Is it me (or where I live?) or is there a shift to more natural-looking women past 50?