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Great Outfits in Fashion History: Jane Birkin in a Lace Crop Top in 1969

The actor and singer wore this memorable look on a beach in Cannes.
Jane Birkin with Serge Gainsbourg on the beach at Cannes in 1969.

Jane Birkin with Serge Gainsbourg on the beach at Cannes in 1969.

There are perfectly good celebrity style moments, and then there are the looks that really stick with you, the ones you try desperately to recreate at home. In 'Great Outfits in Fashion History,' Fashionista editors are revisiting their all-time favorite lewks.

I wish I could exclude myself from fashion's obsession with irrepressibly cool French girls, but alas. I'm totally guilty of spending hours studying the "I just threw this on" cardigan and perfectly-aged Levi's duo that women like Anne-Laure Mais Moreau and Jeanne Damas do so well. I set an alarm for Imparfaite's monthly muse drop, where chic Parisians model the shop's latest vintage wares. I'm a sucker for French-girl style.

Jane Birkin — who, funnily enough, is a British woman — is the reason for my obsession. With her basket totes and messy fringe, the actor is a sartorial icon worthy of the timeless bag that bears her name. Several of her outfits from the '60s and '70s are still very much in style today. And while her extremely short, cut-to-there Paco Rabanne numbers could easily dazzle at any Kardashian party in 2020, it's her everyday denim looks that will deserve a shoutout.  

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My favorite features Birkin on a beach in Cannes, wearing a midriff-baring lace blouse and white jeans. The year was 1969 and the ensemble — which Birkin accessorized with multiple necklaces and a brown belt — is as effortlessly chic as those worn by my favorite modern-day French-speaking influencers.  

The lace crop top is truly the hero piece of this outfit: It's shockingly cropped, but somehow, when paired with the belted white jeans, it takes on this sophisticated boho aesthetic. I'd like to be on a beach right now — especially in the south of France — but really any sandy stretch of land would suffice. Until I can make that dream a reality, I'll be searching the web in hopes of finding a Birkin-inspired crop top to wear while basking in the sun. Shop my picks, below. 

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