For those out there yearning for a peak inside the glamorous world of fashion, then fret no more. Documentary filmmaker Fabien Constant’s newest film Mademoiselle C hits the screens this September. He puts the spotlight on one of fashion’s most revered and respected icons, Carine Roitfeld.
She was once Tom Ford’s muse for six years at Gucci during the '90 and helped define the label with its infamous porno-chic look. In 2001, Roitfeld was then plucked to work as editor-in-chief for French Vogue. She resigned in 2011 after 10 definitive years to pursue her own personal projects. One of those projects was to create her own fashion magazine, CR Fashion Book. Constant followed Roitfeld for a year as she began to implement the concept of her newest declaration.
This story begins in one of the world's greatest fashion cities: New York! The metaphor could easily be made that it’s a city of big dreams, and Roitfeld was off to create her own. After resigning in 2011, she quoted, “I gave up the crown, but I wanted to try something new.”
Many people will make the comparison between 2009’s The September Issue, but where American Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour showed her icy cool demeanor, Roitfeld is warm and congenial. Known for her dark, thick eyebrows, smoky eyes and a sexy disheveled look, she is well admired in the industry. The most infamous and famous people in fashion make one cameo appearance after another. From Tom Ford, Karl Lagerfeld and Donatella Versace to Sarah Jessica Parker and Kanye West, no one seems to miss a beat when describing her as true Parisian chic.
However, the film took a few missteps. Constant never really got to the backstory of how Roitfeld found her love of fashion. She talks about how she had a bourgeois upbringing and that fashion for her is fantasy, but never discovered what initially fascinated her. Her two adult children, Julia and Vladimir, and longtime partner Christian Restoin make appearances throughout the film, but it doesn’t satiate the appetite for intimate details. Delving a little deeper into her backstory to where she is now would have provided a cohesiveness to the film’s narrative.
Roitfeld does get a bit personal when talking about her pregnant daughter Julia, serving as her newest inspiration. There are also some funny moments once baby Romy Nicole is born, with legendary Karl Lagerfeld pushing the stroller around on set looking slightly out of place but thoroughly enjoying the moment. More personal touches like that would have made the film feel connected.
For fashion junkies, Mademoiselle C will do just the trick, but for those with no understanding of the industry might leave flummoxed and wondering why they should care about Roitfeld’s newest venture. A fully rounded-out story could have made this film more appealing to a mass audience.
Still, her signature CR scribbled in cursive for her new magazine is as sexy as ever. For the fashionista, this film is a perfect fit.
Mademoiselle C releases in theaters on Friday, Sept. 20 at Laemmle Music Hall in Beverly Hills, Calif.