SONGBIRD: French model, actress and singer Lou Doillon picked up her guitar to perform a selection of songs from her latest album, “Lay Low” at Clerkenwell 155 Bar & Kitchen in London on Wednesday night to celebrate her role as the face of J Brand denim for fall and announce her continued role as campaign star for the L.A.-based denim brand for spring.
But it wasn’t all happiness and light. J. Brand’s vice president of creative and marketing Laura Pizzarelli joked darkly that she was contemplating not returning to L.A. following the news that Donald Trump had been elected President. “I want to stay in London and live at the Soho Hotel,” she laughed. “I told them I’m a hard worker and will do anything.”
Kidding aside, Pizzarelli will return to the States and continue to focus on J Brand with a “return to the original brand DNA.”
“We’re working on all of our fits, turning them inside-out, fixing our products and just returning to complete simplicity,” she explained. “T-shirts and jeans, shirts and jeans, jean jackets and jeans…For women who are beautiful, authentic, creative, smart, effortless. Like Lou; she’s a mother, she’s an artist, she’s a singer/songwriter and she’s completely authentic.”
“What a crazy day. I thought I was going to be the card to calm you all down after the Hilary [Clinton] euphoria,” said Doillon before the performance. “I’m not the one that’s going to make you dance or release any negative feelings together. But we can weep together and we can sing together.”
Doillon, with her mournful voice and striking looks courtesy of mother Jane Birkin and father Jacques Doillon, performed the set of very personal songs to the 45-strong audience including Daisy Lowe, Portia Freeman, Molly Moorish, Sai Bennett and Zara Martin, with some in the crowd discreetly wiping away tears at points.
“We’ll be passing around razor blades later,” she said of her melancholy songs, the first of which, “Left Behind,” she said was written after a moment of personal loss.
Is writing and singing about that kind of vulnerability something that comes easily to her? “I really think there’s two types of writers, and I felt, as I was growing up, that we were living in somewhat of a strange society that tends to think we motivate people when we’re at our best,” she told WWD. “But, actually, I believe personally that the more I sing about the common, the more I allow myself to talk about the crookedness, the more it’s reassuring for everyone. There’s something where I think we all want to be beautiful, we all want to be perfect, we all want to have the perfect life but it doesn’t happen. And we feel really lonely when it happens thinking we’re the only ones.”
“I once did a gig in San Francisco and a girl came [up to me] weeping outside and hugged me and said, ‘I’ve just realized that it’s alright, I’ve abandoned guys that were into me and I couldn’t understand why, I’ve been stupid and I’ve sought attention where guys were just stupid, and you’re the first person that understands that it’s alright.’ And I thought, if that can be my mission, I’m delighted. Because I’m not that good anyway at creating this kind of perfect persona.”