Tag Archives: Magazine

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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Lovely Bones

Cheryl Cole. 

Her face, child-like but for the maquillage of a woman.  Her eyes, doe-like but for lashes so fake they became tarantula.  Framed by the bubbliest of bubblegum pink, she stared out from the magazine rack.

A cover girl.

The face to launch a thousand gossip magazines, you might presume, wrapped in the cheap jewellery of salacious neon headlines. 

Not so.

For this cover, this magazine, was the October edition of Vogue.

The cover coincides, curiously, with another Vogue release – ‘Vogue Model: The Faces of Fashion’, a beautiful coffee-table tome celebrating ninety years of the magazine’s history and the many women – the models – to have adorned its velveteen pages.

In an age of content – and curiosity – fashion magazines have increasingly looked for endorsements from celebrities.  They fill the vacuum when it is not enough to simply recognise the face on the cover.  We must also know the minutiae of her diet, sex life and medical history.  All the better if she is embroiled in scandal.

But is this right?

I will purchase Vogue, faithfully as a lover, each month.  This October – though I prevaricated, biting my lip and lingering beside the magazine rack longer than is reasonably proper for even a shoplifter – I walked away.

It was a Homeric struggle not experienced the edition before when Kate Moss straddled the cover in a brass-buttoned Burberry peacoat with the kohled eyes of a rock star.

Recognisable – yet, paradoxically, little known – my favourite models (some of whom are pictured here) allow the clothes to speak without the baggage and brouhaha of celebrity.  Fashion without fameClothes not the clotheshorse.  Or, as Stefano Pilati has roundly summed: ‘To me, fashion photography is with a model; otherwise, it’s a portrait.’ 

So let me know. 

Is the marriage of fashion magazine and celebrity a wise one?  Does it homogenise – and potentially damage – a high fashion magazine to have their cover girl simultaneously emblazoned across those of gossip magazines? 

Or could it be… am I simply a cantankerous snob unable to progress with the times?

{P.S: For those who love (envy, stick pins into voodoo dolls, yearn to look like) models as much as me, you should skip over to my Tumblr page… right about here.}

|Fashion Gone Rogue, Fashionising|

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