CR Fashion Book Launch Party.
At Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week New York, Carine Roitfeld, former editor-in-chief of French VOGUE, launched her own magazine.
Subtle sounds, not rousing rebellion.
Expectations had been running high – after all and for more than a decade, Carine Roitfeld has left a huge mark on the fashion landscape with her unique, provocative chic. Just last year, Roitfeld threw a wild party at an infamous club in Downtown Manhattan to celebrate her campaign for Barney’s. And now a black tie event on the Upper East Side? Dress code: smoking and elegant evening gowns.
Eagerly awaited by the entire magazine and fashion sphere, Roitfeld’s own publication launched on September 13th under the confident moniker CR Fashion Book, referencing the editor’s signature style and iconic initials. On the night, everyone followed her call to cross the white marble floor of the Flick Collection’s atrium to the soft sounds of Japanese composer and pianist Ryūichi Sakamoto. Among those paying homage: Givenchy designer Riccardo Tisci, model Karlie Kloss, society girl Leigh Lezark and a plethora of fashion fiends in the know.
“I wanted to do something different, something more classical. After all, I am a grandmother now,” or so the 57-year-old über-stylist described the ambience of the launch party and, at the same time, the title and theme of her mag’s first edition, Issue 1 Rebirth. It is all about love, kids, babies, the cycle of life and a little bit about Roitfeld’s own sartorial reincarnation.
After all, Carine Roitfeld is renowned – and notorious – for a slightly different look: As a stylist and editor, she had men photographed in lace negligees and models bandaged up to resemble the aftermath of plastic surgery. Together with her friend and designer Tom Ford (then head of design at Gucci) she came up with the directional, hedonistic 1990s chic of skin-tight pants and killer heels. Another legendary feat: the last ever VOGUE under her aegis, which caused a stir and public outcry in December 2010 when she portrayed pre-teen girls with smoky eyes and heavy, jewel-encrusted chokers. Roitfeld, daughter of a Russian émigré and a wealthy, sophisticated Parisian, loved to provoke the entire world of fashion. Roitfeld herself, who at 57 stays true to her inimitable French rock chic style with heels, animal print and pencil skirts, prefers another interpretation.
“I don’t treat models like objects, but actresses. I let them show a side of themselves that they tend to hide in everyday life,” she explained at last autumn’s Berlin launch of her book “Irreverent”. Instead of thoughtless cheek or mundane shock value she has always been about a certain stance and attitude, railing against false authorities and taboos, no matter if they are bourgeois or alternative.
The rebirth of madame Roitfeld.
And now? Giggling models on the cover, a wealth of cute puppies, freshly-hatched chicks and sweet babies? Even a ban on smoking models? One might think that spending time with her daughter and newborn granddaughter has softened up Madame Roitfeld a little. The iconic stylist, who has been working on the concept for the bi-annual and almost 350-page CR Fashion Book with her team in a suite of the Standard East Village Hotel since early 2012, considers her new outlet a celebration of fashion and creativity. “Times have changed. Of course you need to go on provoking. But in a different way. Nowadays, I would no longer tie up models. Anyone can do that. It is all about finding a more intellectual approach,” explains Carine Roitfeld at the CR Fashion Book launch. And, maybe, this is rebellion enough in a world where more and more magazines rely on provocation to sell their fashion and spreads.
Now, she is truly independent and no longer has to compromise: She can juxtapose a Karl Lagerfeld shoot featuring timeless supermodel Linda Evangelista with a story on Amma, the Indian saint, who has hugged more than 32 million people around the world. “At long last, I want to create a link between runway and reality,” or so Carine Roitfeld describes this new approach and direction. A veritable rebirth and reincarnation of this Jeanne d’Arc of fashion herself.