JANE BIRKIN (2016)
I WILL PREVIVE [The Book Of Rocks] diary extract, 17 November 2016
AND GOD CREATED FRENCH WOMAN series (2016)
“My body still thinks it has a newborn that really needs me (this is the only way I can describe the sensation up top) but I’m keeping on keeping on with what I was thinking about before I went out after dark this week. I had noticed that Vanessa Paradis had made sweet music with Serge Gainsbourg and my mind went straight to Jane Birkin who, for reasons that I still struggle with, the French are obsessed with. Je ne comprends pas. Explique-moi s’il te plait because it’s lost on me. And sorry the likeness is not better. She was slippery to draw.
An English girl from the big smoke, she made a life for herself in France in the 1970s and recorded the rather long-winded duet Je T’aime… Moi Non Plus with Gainsbourg in 1969. Originally written for Brigitte Bardot, who he was infatuated with, this song went on to cause a storm – as in banned – in other countries because of its sexual explicitness (not in France, of course!). Eventually it became a bit of a joke, too. Doesn’t everyone seem to be so uptight next to this nation when it comes to le grand amour?
In 1981 fashion label, Hermès, famously designed the Birkin Bag after the big boss witnessed her straw bag empty its contents all over an aircraft cabin. She complained at the time that she had no decent weekend bag. Et voilà! Iconic status symbol in the bag, with own name attached! Bien joué, Jane.
So the bottle of wine stashed in the Birkin bag is the 1970s loving, jingle-jangling Action by Cassius. Pourquoi pas? C’est bientôt le weekend, non?”