I finally got around to purchasing Irreverent by Carine Roitfeld after watching her documentary, Mademoiselle C, which details the production of her first issue of the CR Fashion Book.
Honestly, I haven’t been hit with a girl crush / icon / inspirational obsession / etc. in a long long time. I realize I’m a bit late to the game learning about her (especially since i have two copies of CR) but after watching the movie it was like a compulsion i HAD to have the book immediately and learn as much about her as I could. When it arrived earlier this week I was completely blown away. It’s sublime.
Interestingly enough I’ve been shying away from fashion— (completely inspired by this Phoebe Philo for Céline post HERE and this trend post from the Manrepeller HERE) sticking to black, white and neutrals (which i realize is a trend right now, but i digress) and focusing more on art, design and interiors. BUT I literally devoured this book. I read every page (which I rarely actually do with magazines/coffee table books) but it was so clean. chic, interesting and erotic.
These are my favorite quotes:
“I don’t know if I’m a Yves Saint Laurent woman or not, but I hate when people compliment me on what I’m wearing. It was Saint Laurent who said that you should compliment a woman for her beauty and not for her clothes, which are only supposed to set off her beauty.”
Q: 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!”
Q: Do you see yourself as an artist?
“I don’t see myself as an artist. In a way, I envy the freedom artists have. Artists can push themselves beyond their limits, in pursuit of their ideas and their vision, even if they are inhabited by demons that can also play tricks on them. I would love to have that purely creative side. But fashion has allowed me to collaborate with artists of all difference kinds—writers, filmmakers, as well as genius hair stylists and make-up artists.”
Q: How do you manage to preserve your creativity?
“Although I’ve 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.”
Q: Do you think that real fashion has been absorbed by fashion photography?
“Street fashion is real fashion now. Ultimately, that’s what is driving the industry. The kind of fashion that I love exists only in images, where it becomes part of a world of dreams and fantasies. Only a few great eccentrics can wear it. But chasm doesn’t bother me, because I think there’s a tension– or a continual dialogue— going on between street fashion and the fashion depicted in photographs, which very few woman can afford to wear for obvious financial reasons, as well as certain social pressures.”
“But luxury isn’t an easy thing to do these days. Luxury has become so vulgar. Luxury items have become the symbol of nouveaux riches, of new fortunes made out of IT and the dot-com industry, and by people who don’t have experience with this kind of culture appropriating historically luxury items.”
Have I contradicted myself? Not too long ago I told my mom that I think my goal in life is to be an elegantly aged woman. After learning more about Carine, I think that’s true.