Though there are many memorable on-screen moments that involve Charlotte GainsbourgÂ--Jane Eyre, 21 Grams, and Ma Femme Est Une Actrice just to name a fewÂ--and her storied familial genes are enviable to say the least (mother is Blow Up actress Jane Birkin of HermÃ¨s fame, her father is French icon Serge Gainsbourg, and Lou Doillon is her Ã¼ber-stylish little sister), we love her most for her remarkable sense of personal style. Never over the top or vulgar, and often in Balenciaga (it pays to be close friends and muse to the incomparable designer of the French house, Nicolas GhesquiÃ¨re), Gainsbourg is revered by fashion followers the world over for her perfectly Parisian Ã©lan. The lithe mother of two is not as flashy as some stars, but there has certainly been no shortage of opportunities for Gainsbourg to show off her sophisticated brand of insouciance. In between promoting her latest film, Lars von Trier's Antichrist, collaborating with Beck on last year's cult classic IRM album, and being the face of Balenciaga's first fragrance, she has provided her loyal devotees with plenty of eye-candy, and we just couldn't wait to share some of our absolute favorites with you, dear readers. As always, we've got all of the details about her impressive dressing on hand, so get ready to cherchez la femme in today's Style Spotlight story!
Spotted backstage at the Chanel Haute Couture show in January, Gainsbourg looked laid backÂ--save for her Balenciaga Grey Raccoon Fur Coat ($15225, 212.206.0872) from the French fashion house's Pre Fall 2009 collection. Paired with her signature skinny-slouchy signature Notify Jeans ($205), the Antichrist-star looked both pared-down and decadent. Though her covetable coat is no longer available, please be sure to check out 3.1 Phillip Lim's Rex Rabbit Coat ($2500) or try BB Dakota's Annalise Faux Fur Coat ($170) for a more animal-friendly option. Gainsbourg wore a similar outfit to an Italian television appearance in February (above, top right), though instead of a fuzzy jacket she opted for Balenciaga's Black Leather Coat ($4295). We think Tory Burch's Richard Jacket ($795) is a very close approximation of her moto piece, so definitely check it out. Either outerwear way you go, make sure to pair it with Paige's Geo Skyline Peg Jeans ($199) or Current/Elliott's The Skinny Jeans ($216), plus either Steve Madden's Duvaal Boots ($100) or Joie's Elvis Suede Booties ($295), both dead-ringers for Gainsbourg's divinely worn-in R. Sole Irene Tobacco Suede Ankle Boots ($292)!
Of course the French muse's clothing repertoire extends beyond her favorite chic denim. While attending a Christmas lighting ceremony on the Champs Elysees in Paris late last year, Gainsbourg wore Balenciaga's Silk Tiger Print Blue Top, Black Chantilly Lace Bra, and Black Leather Pants, all from the F/W 09 collection. Since lingerie display is all the rage this spring, be sure to try Equipment's Daddy Blouse with Epaulets ($218) or Urban Outfitters' Pins and Needles Tiered Lace Button Top ($58) over Top Secret's Lace Bandeau ($44). All you need after that is Paige's Hyde Park Skinny Pants ($400) or Vince's Stretch Leather Leggings ($870) to get a little bit of luxurious leather into your life and you'll be set tout suite!
Gainsbourg sported another sophisticated separates-based ensemble to attend the Balenciaga F/W 10 show in Paris earlier this month. Her Pleated Leather Skirt ($9995), Beige Suede Boots ($995), and Brown Leather Coat ($2895) are stellar on their own, but worn together it proves that old adage that the whole can be greater than the sum of its parts. The runway-ready selections are certainly worth considering, but if you love the look we can recommend Myne's Arrow Print Skirt ($198) with your favorite oversized jacket and Marc by Marc Jacobs' Scallop Booties ($248) to mimic Gainsbourg's marvelous brand of chic.
Finally, we have the shining star of the Gainsbourg garment galaxy: the Black Jersey Crepe Dress ($5850) from Balenciaga's Pre Spring collection that she wore to the 35th annual Cesar Film Awards last month. The ruffle and zipper detail at the hem back this dress absolutely divine, and we love the universally flattering halter shape. Since the frock is obviously a dream dress for the rest of us, of course we found you a smart substitute. Be sure to check out Express' Ruffled Halter Dress ($60) for your next evening event! And though we are happy to help you track down all her exact clothing and look-a-like alternatives, when it comes to replicating our Style Spotlight subject's exact brand of chic insouciance, unfortunately, dear readers, you are on your own!Â--KM