WOMAN ON MIS­SION

A new film cap­tures BAZAAR’s global fash­ion di­rec­tor, Carine Roitfeld, as she forges a new path. By Sara Parker Bowles.

Harper’s Bazaar (Malaysia) - - Talking Points -

At its best, the fash­ion doc­u­men­tary can be a hugely il­lu­mi­nat­ing and em­i­nently watch­able story, from Wim Wen­ders’s Note­book on Cities and Clothes in 1989, a beau­ti­ful take on the enig­matic Ja­panese de­signer Yo­hji Ya­mamoto, to the smart and sassy Isaac Mizrahi doc­u­men­tary Un­zipped from 1995, through to 2009’s in­sight­ful The Septem­ber Is­sue. The in­dus­try’s lat­est of­fer­ing, Made­moi­selle C, is a glimpse into the fab­u­lous world of Carine Roitfeld, whose sky-high Alaïas, Anita Pal­len­berg eyes, and aes­thetic mo­nop­oly on highly charged fash­ion shoots have en­sured her sta­tus as the high priest­ess of style. The film charts her dra­matic res­ig­na­tion and con­se­quent de­par­ture, in 2011, from Condé Nast, publisher of French Vogue, to New York where she set up her own mag­a­zine, CR Fash­ion Book.

Fol­low her David-and-Go­liath nar­ra­tive (vul­ner­a­ble lone fe­male ed­i­tor ver­sus pub­lish­ing be­he­moth) as the film ex­plores some uni­ver­sal themes: self-doubt (“I know they are wait­ing for me to fail ... when I left Paris, I left my crown”), courage, gra­cious­ness, fair-weather friends, real friends, and foes. There are also beau­ti­ful clothes, ec­cen­tric char­ac­ters (Karl Lager­feld, Tom Ford), and lots of par­ties. High­lights in­clude Roitfeld do­ing full splits (she’s 58) dur­ing a bal­let les­son at her New York apart­ment, and Lager­feld push­ing a pram con­tain­ing Roitfeld’s new­born grand­child Romy up and down the cor­ri­dors of the Chanel ate­lier, quip­ping: “She’s cute, but she doesn’t say much.” Fash­ion gold. ‘Made­moi­selle C’ is avail­able on DVD.

Looks from Roitfeld’s March 2013 shoot for BAZAAR

Carine Roitfeld with Karl Lager­feld at a char­ity event

With Lara Stone on a shoot for CR Fash­ion Book

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