Posted on December 3, 2016 by Trace

T H E  O R I G I N A L
Jane Birkin and Serge Gainsbourg Family Album.

Birkin Gainsbourg FamilyTheir images are bound to seduce you with feelings of nostalgia for the 70’s. Fill you with curiosity and intrigue to know more about the glamour couple, their love-child and children from prior relationships.

Epitomising the perfect family captured in the soft glow of 35mm Kodachrome. Yet as dysfunctional as most famous families of the free-love era.

Birkin Gainsbourg FamilyWe’re enamoured with Jane’s French chic; dubbed the ‘original rock chick’ and a style icon, her fashion legacy is enduring. Though not born in France, Jane was very much accepted and idolised by her adopted country.
With Serge’s exceptional talent and charisma; their children who went on to have their own fame, fortune and not without some suffering… as a collective they were picture perfect.

Birkin Gainsbourg FamilyBirkin / Gainsbourg Family © Copyright 2006 Corbis CorporationBirkin / Gainsbourg Family © Copyright 2006 Corbis CorporationAbove 2 images : Birkin / Gainsbourg Family © Copyright 2006 Corbis Corporation

Birkin / Gainsbourg Family Serge y Jane Serge & Jane

Serge met Jane Birkin; an upper-middle-class Englishwoman, icon of French chic, who was 18 years younger than Gainsbourg. They met on the set of the film Slogan [1968], in which Serge had a small acting role.

Serge Gainsbourg“He was mesmerising company,” she says. “His talent and odd sense of shyness seemed to demand affection.”

Jane, Serge & baby Charlotte Jane Birkin-Baby Love

In 1971 Jane and Serge had a daughter, the now actress and singer Charlotte Gainsbourg.

After more than a decade together their decadent lifestyle began to slowly take its toll and eventually tear them apart. In 1980 they separated.

Jane also had two other daughters; Kate Barry [8 April 1967 – 11 December 2013] who was a remarkable British Fashion Photographer, her father was John Barry the composer, whom Jane was married to  before Serge, from 1965–68.

Birkin / Gainsbourg family album
Jane’s third daughter; Lou Doillon, whose father was Birkin’s lover and later husband; film director Jacques Doillon.
Birkin left Serge when pregnant with Lou, following their break-up.
Lou was born not long after their separation. Gainsbourg sent her a box full of baby clothes and a card bearing the words “Papa Deux,” before later becoming the child’s godfather.
He was her best friend, and they remained close for the rest of his life.
Growing up, Doillon continued to refer to Gainsbourg as ‘Papa Deux’, as he was often at the house with them, despite the fact Birkin had long since married Jacques Doillon, presumably ‘Papa Un’.

Birkin Gainsbourg Family © Copyright 2012 CorbisCorporationPhoto above Jane Birkin, Lou Doillon, Serge Gainsbourg and Charlotte Gainsbourg July 1, 1985

Lou told The Daily Mail UK:
‘I was raised by muses. Women who had men in awe of them and who wrote them movies and wrote them music.’

Lou recalled a home full of fantasy and fruity goings-on.

‘I was raised by people who were always doing things,’ explains Doillon, in perfect English. 

‘There was constant creativity. People assume that we were just famous and wealthy, but what I remember is this hum of activity: at the piano, behind a camera, or sketching away with that look of concentration in their eyes. 

‘When I was small I thought the sexiest thing in the world was concentration.’ 

With two free-spirited 60’s artists as parents it is no wonder Lou sought a life of entertainment and creativity herself.
More on Lou here


Serge y BrigitteBrigitte Bardot & Serge GainsbourgPhoto [top] Brigitte and Serge whilst recording Je t’aime…moi non plus 1967

Before Jane; Serge Gainsbourg had a brief, passionate affair with Brigitte Bardot.
They both were married at the time.
 Bardot, aged 34, was still a huge star, but her film career appeared to be over.

Then to complete the Love △, Jane starred with Brigitte as Bardot’s lover in ‘Don Juan’ or ‘If Don Juan Were a Woman’ in 1973.

Jane and Brigitte Jane and Brigitte Jane and BrigitteJane confessed, “I wanted to see every portion of her [Bardot’s] body to see if she was as beautiful as I thought she was, and she is. Checked from head to toe by me. There’s not one fault in the woman.”

Serge and Jane in what looks like wedding attireBirkin and Gainsbourg split in 1980, a relationship that lasted 13 years. They never married, despite rumours and misreporting to the contrary.

Following their breakup: “For Jane it was a new beginning – with Jacques Doillon, with their love-child daughter Lou, and with Serge, too, who remained as close a friend as ever. Only then did her dormant potential begin to blossom, into the politically and socially activated person she’s become.

The single cause of Jane’s break-up from Serge, was alcohol, that he became an alcoholic. It was part of his persona, a bit like the cigarettes. In the end, he paid for it because he died when he was 62. When somebody becomes an alcoholic they start to lose some of their attraction. He wasn’t violent in the sense that she could have pushed him over. I think she loved him deeply and went on loving him for all of his life, and still does. Obviously it wasn’t the same sort of passionate “in-loveness” from 12 years before, not helped by the fact that the alcohol was taking its toll on him.”

Above excerpts – Andrew Birkin, Jane’s brother.

Jane and Serge

facts & images gathered from Daily Mail UK, AnOther Mag + Google

Other stories on Serge + Jane
can be found here

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