Carine Roitfeld – Irreverent

2 Jan

This was one of my favorite Christmas gifts this year, the book Carine Roitfeld – Irreverent, from my amazing husband that remembers things that I mention with excitement over a month ago.  This goes through the nitty-gritty of everything you might want to learn and see from the famous ex-French Vogue fashion editor.  This book only reconfirmed her authenticity as a stylist.  She’s someone I truly admire, not because I want to style like Carine Roitfeld, (I’m not a french aristocrat and didn’t have an erotic film director for a dad, therefore that ship has sailed); I admire her for her whimsy in styling, her sense of humor, and her confidence in her spontaneous ideas.  I’m not sure how someone becomes so cool in the world of Paris fashion, where everyone acts like a black cat on a marble perch.  Probably just a perfect ball of neglecting judgemental peers and social quos, while having unadulterated superior taste in all that looks perfect on a magazine page.

Here are some of my favorite quotes taken from Irreverent.

What do you attribute your success to?  Can you define it, or is it a mystery to you?

There’s certainly something mysterious about it.  It’s not my place to say whether I have any talent or not, but success is a mix of hard work and good luck.  I met the right people at the right time, but I also knocked on the doors that I knew were the hardest to enter.  I never chose the easy option.  I have always gone after the most interesting things, even if they are the most difficult.  Always!

So what exactly is signature Carine Roitfeld in your fashion photos?  Could it be an approach to elegance with a suggestive-not explicit sexual component?

I do things by instinct.  For example, I can hang a Chanel bag around Christy Turlington’s neck and all of a sudden, the chai strap becomes a punk S&M accessory.  For me, the main thing is that the photo is sublime, and I let myself be guided by that.  I can do a very sexy photo with a simple pearl choker, or use the sort of very bourgeois lavliere shirt with a bow on it that was worn by Simone Veil, and tie it around a mode’s breasts to make it look like a bondage picture.  Actually, I love violating the codes of bourgeois elegance.  I love high heels with tracksuit bottoms and a black bra under a white shirt.  It’s probably a reaction to my bourgeois upbringing, but it’s also a way of showing a woman’s wardrobe from a different angle, overriding convention and overturning the rules of seduction.

How do you manage to preserve your creativity?

Although I’m very diplomatic, I’ve learned not to back down when it comes to my own vision.  I stay inside a bubble so I can focus on my own creativity and not feel burdened by outside influences or pressure.  I don’t live in a fairy tale – anything but.  But I remain inside my private, insulated space where I find my inspiration and my freedom.

*Carine Roitfeld on the left with a cheetah.

My next fantasy?  No idea.  I never know ahead of time what I’m going to do on a shoot.  It’s completely instinctive process.  I decide at the last-minute, and I order in the accessories at the last possible instant.  I must have my back against the wall to come up with the right ideas.

*Carine loved to use women of all body types.

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