With a pedigree like Charlotte Gainsbourg’s, becoming a style icon was inevitable. You may own one Birkin bag, many Birkin bags or be on the notoriously lengthy waiting list for a Birkin bag. Since Gainsbourg’s mother, Jane Birkin, was the inspiration for the legendary Hermès handbag, it should give you a hint as to where Gainsbourg inherited her sense of style before making it distinctly her own. Actress, singer and without doubt, a style icon to the Nth degree, Gainsbourg is considered European celebrity royalty, thanks to being the off-spring of both her British, model-actress mother and maverick French singer-composer Serge Gainsbourg.Based in Paris, Gainsbourg has appeared in 40 films, including this summer’s upcoming blockbuster, Independence Day 2. She is also the main muse of designer, Nicholas Ghesquière, both when he was at Balenciaga and now at Louis Vuitton. Gainsbourg’s instinctive, casual, yet chic, Boho Parisian sense of style is natural and effortless. At the same time, she stands out thanks to often unexpected choices. At a fete once for Marc Jacobs by Louis Vuitton, those in attendance were in full glamour mode. All attention however was focused on Gainsbourg, who created a stir by wearing an 11-year-old pair of Balenciaga jeans, topped off with a simple, black blazer.Let us just say, nonchalance doesn’t get much more deliciously nonchalant than that. "Style for me is a casual way of putting something on,” Gainsbourg has said. “It's not thought out but needs to suit your way of life. Now I like wearing the same sweater over and over again.” Often showing up to events with barely brushed hair and no makeup on, Gainsborough is a walking antithesis to the immaculately styled, bronzed, and polished celebrities who typically inhabit today's red carpets. She frequently wears Balenciaga, but it's obvious from her simple, relaxed outfits — usually just a cocktail dress for formal events, or beat-up jeans, work boots, and a jacket for everything else — that she dresses herself and doesn't employ a stylist.Individuality is a credo for Gainsbourg, who credits her mother for instilling the idea that a strong belief in the power of one’s self is the ultimate beauty tool.

"She said that during the 1960s, due to all the makeup, all the girls looked the same. She said you should stay as authentic as possible."

Hillary Shawaf

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