Carine Roitfeld can now add documentary subject to her extensive CV, which already includes the tangible career markers like editor and publisher, as well as the intangible roles of muse and cultural visionary.
The film “Mademoiselle C,” which centers on Roitfeld’s work launching her own magazine, CR Fashion Book, hits theaters Tuesday night during New York Fashion Week. The former French Vogue editor, who spoke with Style Blog over the phone, said she had no reservations when signing up for the documentary.
“I’m a very spontaneous person, for the bad and the good. When [film-maker] Fabien [Constant] asked me, not even after vodka, just green tea, I was so excited,” Roitfeld said.
If she does have any lingering doubts, it’s over the reception, particularly regarding those closest to her who were willing to be filmed.
“I was very grateful to the friends who were interviewed for the film, it wouldn’t be the same film — people love fashion and want to see all of these designers. I hope they don’t feel betrayed,” Roitfeld said.
Those friends read like an all-star line-up of fashion’s heavy hitters: Donatella Versace, Tom Ford, Mario Testino, Riccardo Tisci, Diane Von Furstenberg, and Alexander Wang to name a few. Karl Lagerfeld is featured receiving a gift from his four-year-old godson, Hudson (son of model Brad Kroenig).
Roitfeld says she gave Constant unfettered access, because she trusted his judgement and was comforted by knowing “his way of looking at fashion.”
“Fabien makes the fashion world [look like] very nice people, it is very easy to say people of fashion are monsters, very easy to criticize people in fashion. I was very anxious, all people are going to say it is not interesting, it is very superficial,” Roitfeld says. “I work in fashion, I’m working with amazing people and artists.”
Roitfeld hopes the film will give viewers a better understanding of what goes into producing a magazine, and her role as a working mother (albeit one decked in Chanel and Alaia).
“I don’t think [people] understand the work behind it, they never see this side of the magazine,” Roitfeld says. “If you don’t have passion you can not do this.”
Despite launching her own magazine shortly after leaving Vogue in 2010, Roitfeld says she’s still not much of a business woman, though she has had to learn quickly. The film documents that transition, as well as the frenetic atmosphere of producing a magazine with a small staff, she says.
“This magazine has my name on it. I have a partner but we’re working for ourselves. We take all the decisions good or the bad, it’s our decision, no one can say anything.”
When asked whether this freedom would allow for more of the boundary-pushing spreads she built a reputation on, Roitfeld said the latest issue (the cover of which was previewed on the Web site last week) fits the bill.
“So if you’re looking for more controversial you’ll be happy, even the covers, you’re going to discover them, they are more controversial. I go back to what’s really me, you know.”
Photos of a pregnant Kim Kardashian in scenes shot by Karl Lagerfeld — the leading spread of the fall/winter edition — should sufficiently intrigue the masses.
It is that daring Roitfield that should draw crowds in New York on Tuesday night.
The film will make its way to DC on Friday, Sept. 27, at the Angelika Film Center & Cafe in Fairfax, VA. The opening event will be part of Mosaic’s annual fashion week, running from Sept. 25 -29, which will show new fall collections and feature a pop-up shop from chef RJ Cooper in anticipation of his new place, Gypsy Soul, next year.