Tag Archives: Carine Roitfeld

First, Last

A blogger of workshy persuasion, I will ordinarily commence a new post with a confetti of apologies for my radio silence.

This one will begin differently.

It begins with a thank you to each and all of those who have taken the time to write such beautifully kind and thoughtful messages since Napoleon’s accident. I’ve been quite the emotional wreck these past weeks and – much like receiving a little hug – your words have proven in turns cheering, fortifying and hugely touching.  

Napoleon is beginning to do much better. 

In the tradition of all bloody annoying male stalwarts – think of Shakespeare’s ‘Ay, ay, a scratch, a scratch’ Mercutio – he’s taken to complaining about my “fussing” him.  Where such defiant ingratitude might otherwise cause my displeasure, I interpret it as a sign that things really must be on the mend… and then fuss the poor bugger some more.

Wicked, me?

This first post coincides with a last. 

Madame Roitfeld’s final issue of Paris Vogue went on sale last week.  As though projected through a television screen, the cover editorial Coeur a Corps Perdu features a swanlike – albeit for a broken neck and overplucked eyebrows – Saskia de Brauw.  It gives witty ode to Roitfeld’s successor, “Emmanuelle”, with its erotic 1970s aesthetic. 

I’ve yet to fully consult Google translate read my copy but, already, my favourite part is Carine’s Edito

Handwritten and without marshmallow mawkishness, the closing observation – ‘It’s because everything must end that everything is so beautiful’ – brings a poetic poignancy to this, her farewell edition.

À bientôt, Carine.

|The Fashion Spot – Vogue Paris|
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Enfant Terrible

Yesterday started unremarkably enough.

And then it happened.

News came.

Emmanuelle Alt – a Balmain-clad rock star amongst fashion stylists – was named the shiny new and box fresh Editor-in-Chief of Vogue Paris.

The decision to elevate her – in the aftermath of Carine ‘My Middle Name Is Controversy’ Roitfeld’s tenure – intimates that the magazine is not set for a radical change of course.

Vogue Paris is doing very well and I wanted to entrust the editorship to someone who can provide continuity while bringing new life,” Xavier Ramotet, the president of Condé Nast France, commented yesterday.

It is this reference to continuity that reassures.

Alt takes the helm after a decade of service under Roitfeld and symbolises, in every way, the progeny – the literal enfant terrible – of Carine’s cradle. 

It is impossible to disassociate Madame Roitfeld from Paris Vogue, but – under Alt’s new direction – we can be certain that her legacy and sensual aesthetic will not be sharp-shouldered entirely aside. 

The appointment – and all that it auspiciously represents for the magazine’s continued relevance – might best be summed by Emmanuelle herself in the closing words of this video

Joy everywhere,” indeed.

|Jak & Jil|

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Carine

She’d dropped enough hints.

Interviewed by The Guardian in 2009, Carine Roitfeld – libertine, provocateur and editor-in-chief of Paris Vogue – mused, prophetically, on the future of her career:

“I love to change.  I have been here eight years; I think maybe 10 years is good. But for now, I am very happy in my little Paris.”

Nonetheless, when official confirmation came last week that Roitfeld is to step down – after ten years of service with the Condé Nast publication – the fashion world shook with a collective Oh My F*cking Dieu.

And how.

“Listening to Carine Roitfeld talk is like having Chanel No 5 eau de parfum dripped, very slowly, into your ear.  If it were possible to bottle that accent, it would surely be found to contain the very DNA of sexy-French womanliness.” 

This quote – the most evocative I have ever read of Roitfeld – can aptly extend to her editorial influence. 

Without censure, Roitfeld tattooed the pages of Paris Vogue with the most urgent elements of her DNA.  Uncompromising.  Visceral.  Luxurious.  Tribal.  Anti-establishment.  Sexual.  The magazine was remade in her icon.

Unlike her glacial counterpart across the Atlantic, Anna Wintour – who helms a corporate, nipple-free, celebrity-centric Vogue – Roitfeld has found a constant bedfellow in controversy.  

She sits, unapologetically, at the limit. 

We have to fight to keep this un-politically correct attitude of French Vogue.  But it’s more and more difficult… you cannot smoke, you cannot show arms, you cannot show little girls.  Everything we do now is like walking in high heels on the ice, but we keep trying to do it.”

It is for this – her commitment to a creative vision and fearlessness in the defence of it – that Roitfeld epitomised, more than any other, an editrix of extraordinary daring. 

In a world where dollar is king and commercial interests rule sovereign, she stood one of very few to implode taboos and reimagine our boundaries of morality and fashion.  

There will, of course, be other visionaries to fill her spike heels.  A new editrix – Emmanuelle Alt or Virginie Mouzat, anyone? – to take the magazine onward. 

But for this reader, Carine Roitfeld will always remain.

Irreplaceable.

|Stockholm Streetstyle, Quotes: The Guardian, The New York Times|

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Mistakes

When it comes to making mistakes, I’m something of an expert.

My therapist might argue that to err is human and presents valuable opportunity for learning.

I agree and that is why, to date, my rulebook for life contains such sage gems as: Never Cut One’s Own Hair (Lesson Learned: No. 24), Never Eat More Than You Can Carry (Lesson Learned: No. 755), Never Touch An Electrical Socket With Wet Hands (Lesson Learned: No. 1096).

Seriously, on that latter point. Ouch!

I try, as the twilight years of my thirties approach, to celebrate those imperfect and ever increasing facets of my character.  It is a task made difficult by the knowledge that, walking amongst us, are those who seem never to tread erroneously.

The infallible, faultless ones.

Genetic and maternal advantage aside, these images of a beautiful Julia Restoin-Roitfeld – attending the Vogue Paris 90th Anniversary Masquerade Ball and gilted by Pucci lace – suggest that she is comfortably one of their number.

Even if her boobies threaten to take their own step out of line…

|The Fashion Spot|

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Back to School

They say the wanderer returns.   And they’d be right.

Unlike the many millions of children returned to school last month – with leaden feet and poet sighs – I make my homecoming altogether more gladly.*

What of my travels? 

For those fortunate to call San Francisco home – or simply those who have clung onto the side of a cable car the morning after cocktails at Rye and Bourbon & Branch – it will be little wonder that I have fallen quite hopelessly in love with your eccentric, hipster city.  Let’s whisper this, but it may even have replaced New York in my affections.

More, Napoleon suggested – in a moment of uncharacteristic spontaneity – that we take a week in Paris.  This explains my somewhat later-than-promised return to blogging, but – after dating the same man for longer than even she believes – a girl has to seize every opportunity for romance and shopping on Avenue Montaigne.

Especially when it means giving a two-finger salute to the nine-to-five for another week.

The normal service of life will always recommence, however, and this first post finds dedication to my favourite class of wanderer. 

The Fashion Editor. 

Traversing the four capitals of the fashion globe, the nomadic and heavily caffeinated editrix provides a sartorial masterclass better than any of those evidenced on the catwalk. Without tire. Without faux pas. And she does it all in knife-edge heels.

Truly the kind of wanderer, then, that mere amateurs like me aspire to be.

{ *Even though London seems not to have received the memo that camel is the colour of the season and has impatiently, precociously fast-forwarded into the oppressive grey of winter.}

|The Fashion Spot, Tommy Ton for Style.com|

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Peeping Tom

I seem to be spending increasing portions of my day browsing The Selby

As a lazy sod homebody, there is something delicious and a little illicit about this architectural digest for the hipster set – it makes a nosy neighbour of us all, without the indignity of having to surreptitiously twitch our net curtains.

My favourite photo-essay is that of Julia Restoin-Roitfeld’s Manhattan apartment. 

The pictorial of her tenderly preserved fashion magazines particularly chimed with me.

I collected Vogue for over a decade and cherished mine in much the same manner – the spines could not bear a crease, each copy looked untouched, and formed part of a happy chronologically ordered commune.

I am less precious now.  But this picture still made me smile.

|The Selby|

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