Carine Roitfeld: Fashion Stylist Extraordinaire

French style is more the way you mix the clothes and how you move, how you open your bag, how you cross your legs-just little things that make a difference,” Carine Roitfeld told Jessica Booth in “14 fashion ‘faux pas’ Americans make that French women don’t.”

Carine Roitfeld

Je-taime French Chic:

I have always had a thing for the way French women dress, to the point that it’s inspired a few school projects featuring Gabrielle Coco” Chanel, during my undergraduate days as a Fashion Merchandising major at CSULA, to a blog “Homage to a French Girl” I wrote for http://www.linkedin.com a classmate I met in a Fashion Illustration class I took one summer at “Santa Monica College”.

Soignee and louche, my friend, a vision in an oversized white men’s button-down shirt, wide-legged navy-blue pants and white sneakers she personified the “effortless, luxurious, naturalistic” chic her fellow fashionistas are known and envied for.

French style is more the way you mix the clothes and how you move, how you open your bag, how you cross your legs-just little things that make a difference,” Carine Roitfeld told Jessica Booth in “14 fashion ‘faux pas’ Americans make that French women don’t.” “With French women, you first see the women and then you see the clothes. In France, you cannot see what labels we are wearing. It is very snobby.”

Carine Roitfeld in Vogue

Carine Roitfeld’s Personal Biography:

Born on September 19, 1954 Carine Roitfeld is a Parisian resident who’s been in the fashion game ever since she was discovered as a model at 18. A habituĂ© of “junior magazines” she parlayed her talents into writing and styling for French Elle. Her formal education includes graduation from Parson’s School of Design in New York City and her professional training, as a stylist, includes a fruitful collaboration with Italian photographer Mario Testino. Their partnership led to advertising gigs and “shoots for American and French Vogue.” Her classic, but edgy style, attracted the attention of Tom Ford, when he designed for Gucci, and Yves Saint Laurent, whom both subsequently hired her as a consultant/muse for their brands.

Fashion Illustration of Carine Roitfeld (“The Cut”)

One of the 50 best-dressed over 50.

The Guardian, March 2013 issue

From 2001 to 2011 she was the Editor-in-Chief of Vogue Paris and was named “one of the 50 best-dressed over 50” by The Guardian in their March 2013 issue. Uniqlo also selected her as their style mascot for “Fall/Winter 2016” creating a line that mirrored her penchant for leopard prints, pencil skirts and structured suiting.

“It’s very me,” Roitfeld told Matthew Schneier in The New York Times article Carine Roitfeld Is Her Own Muse. “To have bad taste in a good way, it’s very French.” Editorially, she became “global fashion director for Harper’s Bazaar in 2012″ and created her own magazine, CR Fashion Book which she recently left.

Photographers and Client List:

Besides Mario Testino, Roitfeld has worked with a number of photographers for Harper’s Bazaar-Anthony Maule for the Carine Roitfeld Astrology shoot, and Sebastian Faena for her Unmistakable, Unforgettable, Always In Fashion Icons July 2014 shoot

According to WWD, in the article EXCLUSIVE: Karl Lagerfeld Taps Carine Roitfeld for His Brand she was scheduled to partner Lagerfeld in September 2019 and kick off The Edit by Carine Roitfeld, based on “her own selection of essential pieces from his fall 2019 collection.” Widely renowned for her distinctive looks her collaborations reflect that aspect of her persona as much as her styling chops. She uses clothing and accessories to display who she is to the world, and through her own distinct filter her culture and lifestyle are equally represented.

The Carine Roitfeld Look:

Carine Roitfeld’s classically coordinated style of sexy blouses, structured blazers, pencil skirts and sky-high heels is both retro and modern because while the combination bears the traditional markings of the 1950s female, it still has an air of modern hard-core street and ’70s Klute thrown in as well.

“My style is very simple but very specific. Everything is about proportion and silhouette,” she told Alexandra Fullerton in the article Carine Roitfeld reveals the fashion lessons that have helped her create her signature style. When I examined the various shoots, layouts and ads she’s done throughout her career, the styling elements that inspired me the most are the same ones that inspired me when I examined her personal style photos online. Distinctive, due to their astute physical perspective and singular focus, the fact that her work is an extension of herself is both powerful and immensely creative.

Works Cited:

Booth, Jessica. “14 fashion ‘faux pas’ that Americans make that French women don’t”, https://www.amp.thisisinsder.com/style-mistakes-american-women-make-2018-?

Schneier, Matthew. “Carine Roitfeld Is Her Muse”. The New York Times, Oct. 2, 2015. https://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/fashion/carine-roitfeld-her-own-muse.html.

Socha, Miles. “EXCLUSIVE: Karl Lagerfeld Taps Carine Roitfeld for His Brand”. WWD, Jan. 30, 2019. O-wwd.com.library.academyart.edu.

Fullerton, Alexandra. “Carine Roitfeld reveals the fashion lessons that have helped her create her signature style”. https://www.stylist.co.uk/carine-roitfeld-fashion-lessons-advice-signature-style-uniqlo-collection-collaboration/30490/amp

Fast Fashion: Turning the Trend Around for the Better

Christian Dior

Before Christian Dior revolutionized women’s fashion, in 1947, he had one goal to replace the unsightly Zazou trend with his New Look. Forever 21, H & M, Uniqlo, Target and Zara hope to equally influential with low-cost goods for the budget-mined with big style dreams. Organizers as a fast fashion retail model their purpose is to fill stores with quickly manufactured merchandise based on catwalk and red carpet trends. What that means is that the moment it’s online it’s available soon after. Sadly, any concept this perfect, is bound to have major flaws too.

Pollution, and Other Problems

Target’s A New Day Outfit

Naysayers from the environmental and educational fields have been their biggest detractors lately citing pollution, over-consumption and poor quality as the top issues. To quiet the dissenting voices the fast fashion retailers have taken steps to repair their image.

Budget Shopping is the In Thing

1967 Summer of Love
Sharon Stone in black turtleneck and black Valentino gown

Rebellious, but fabulous, the younger generation of the 1960’s helped propel fast fashion and its instant availability. Another bonus was hipsters could be “in” for little money, allowing them to obtain different from their parents, without having to get their permission. The “it’s chic to pay less” fast fashion sentiment permeated popular culture from the “late 1990’s to the early 2000’s” ushering in an eclectic shopping style. Sharon Stone’s ingenious pairing of a “Gap turtleneck tee with a black Valentino gown” at the 1996 Oscar’s is an accurate example of this philosophy. In 2017, it might be demonstrated with a print coat from a thrift store over a maxi dress from Forever 21.

Qualitative Lifewear from Uniqlo

J.W. Anderson x Uniqlo

Concern over their target customer’s inability to recognize “quality” caused Uniqlo to rename their merchandise lifewear, and insist it uplifts instead of detracts. The collaboration they did with J.W. Anderson for a classic British-style capsule demonstrated this mindset perfectly. Target in a similar mode also upgraded its women’s wear with it’s A New Day line, adding another chapter to fast-fashion’s history.

Works Cited:

  1. Wong, Grace. “Fast fashion shopping: It’s cute, it’s cheap, but should you really buy it?” (Chicago Tribune, November 27, 2015, http://www.chicagotribune.com)
  2. Idacavage, Sara. “Fashion History Lesson: The Origins Of Fast Fashion” (Fashionista, June 8, 2016, https://www.fashionista.com)