Isabel Marant: Next-gen Jane?
|Birkin with her daughter, Charlotte Gainsbourg|
Marant reminds me of Jane Birkin, her stylistic elder aunt. (Marant is 46; Birkin turned 67 last month.)
While I do not find much in her clothing line for me (tiny minis, rocker-chick trousers) and could not afford them even if they appealed, I like her attitude.
Apparently I'm not alone; she is sometimes referred to as "the coolest girl in Paris", a heavy burden to bear.
|Marant's mother ca. 1966|
Marant and Birkin inherited faces that require little help; Birkin's actor mother Judy Campbell was a noted beauty, and Marant's is former model and knitwear designer Crista Fiedler.
Like the idea that you must have tan legs to bare them in a skirt, the necessity of obvious makeup is a remnant of the last millenium. The multi-step application that department store consultants carefully drew on diagrams because you could never remember what to do: over.
Here's her everyday face:
Below, in discreet lip and eye makeup, and maybe a hint of blush:
For evening, an assertive lipstick on lightly-tan skin:
But, according this interview by Kate Finnigan in The Guardian, her usual routine is a bare face (and no off-season tan); this photo accompanied the interview:
|Photo: Francois Coquerel, The Guardian|
Marant's wardrobe follows the same minimalist route. Finnigan writes:
"Her personal staples are 'a pair of tight jeans, a pair of flat shoes and something that is a bit like a sweatshirt, a jumper or T-shirt. A good jacket, a good coat. 'I'm quite androgonystic. I'm very feminine but I always need to break it with something very masculine.' "
What Birkin and Marant also share is The Smile, a burst of unrestrained exuberance.
Whether we lose or keep our bottles and tubes, an incandescent smile is the most powerful of all facial effects.
Perhaps Marant is my excuse for adopting an ever-less-complicated routine, and rolling my eyes when a new (always expensive) cream promises to brighten and tighten. But I am not sure I'd go completely bare. Is that a privilege of relative youth?
I now find that conspicuous make-up, even when perfectly applied, can look devastatingly glamourous on young women, overdone on middle-aged ones, and downright creepy on seniors.