Carine Roitfeld





Mademoiselle C

Mademoiselle C (2013)
Directed by Fabien Constant

IWTB Interview:
Fabien Constant




Harper's Bazaar

carine roitfeld: irreverent


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By Tom Ford


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By Todd Selby


O.Z. Diary
By Olivier Zahm 


Olatz Slip Dress

When asked to define herself as an item of clothing, Carine Roitfeld replied, "A black slip dress because when you take off your clothes, it's beautiful to have this as the last piece." This is a woman that truly lives each moment with elegance, embracing her sensual side. Carine also notes, "Wearing a slip dress to bed is a French fantasy," and she accessorizes with her signature scent, Opium, for added impact.

Being irreverent, bien sûr, La Roitfeld does not reserve the black slip dress for the boudoir, she frequently wears it for interviews and photo shoots as well, "I discovered the slip dress which I think is one of the more French things because when you take off your clothes, even when to go into a shop to buy something, or you're going to Riccardo Tisci to try on a suit, it's like having protection. And you never know how you're going to finish your evening. So you have to be ready." Carine's favorite black slip dress is a version in silk created for her by Olatz in which she appears in the images seen here, shot by Mario Sorrenti in support of her M.A.C. Cosmetics campaign.

The designer of CR's bespoke slip dress is Olatz López Garmendia Schnabel, a Basque native that began producing her own line of fine linens, lingerie, and pajamas based on her personal needs. Olatz is known also for her work as an Elite model and her collaborations with her former husband, Julian Schnabel, on the films Basquiat, Before Night Falls, and The Diving Bell and the Butterfly. Visit The Selby to see more of the personal style of Olatz, creator of the slip dress that makes Carine Roitfeld feel "like a brunette version of Marilyn" as she drifts off to sleep every night.

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Carine Roitfeld photographs © 2012 M.A.C. Cosmetics. Olatz Schnabel photograph © 2014 Todd Selby.


Sebastian Faena

When Carine Roitfeld left the helm at Vogue Paris, she was left with the predicament of being unable to collaborate with any Condé Nast affiliates, which meant that talents like Mario Testino, Craig McDean, and Patrick Demarchelier — to name a few — were ruled off a long list of longtime photographer friends. But as everyone knows, the words "Carine" and "predicament" are like oil and water, they simply do not mix. So tenacious Carine went out and did what she does best: search for new talent and make dreams come true. Her chosen one was none other than fellow Virgoan photographer Sebastian Faena, a rather seductive Argentinean, with a propensity for hiding behind his dark tresses and showing just a little more skin that is considered “politically correct” in his shoots. Reminiscent qualities of a certain someone, non?

Monsieur Faena hails from Buenos Aires and was already making a living as a photographer at the tender age of sixteen, but went on to study literature and music at Columbia University in New York. After two years at Columbia, Faena left to write and direct the film La Mujer Rota (The Broken Woman), which was eventually produced by Mario Testino himself. The film was claimed to be “a lush, visual masterpiece that harkens back to the golden days of Argentinian filmmaking.” With glimmering reviews as such, Mr. Faena could have continued on with filmmaking, but decided instead to return to his photography roots by premiering in the most prestigious V Magazine, thus establishing his name in the list of legendary fashion photographers. One need only look at the editorials he captured to realize that his remarkable talent is completely deserving of recognition.

In a V Magazine behind-the-scenes shoot with the immensely talented and theatrical Lady Gaga, Sebastian Faena describes his photographing philosophy by sharing, “In the end, when I take pictures, I’d rather create something myself with the person who’s in front of me, than taking a picture of what already exists — I’d rather transform these people into something they’re not.” I don’t think he meant “transform these people into something they’re not” by taking away their personality or in the literal sense, but as in a different character just for the sake of transporting them from reality to fantasy, and that’s the whole objective of a photo shoot.

Carine was already cronies with Sebastian Faena from their work together with V Magazine, but the friendship truly blossomed when she asked him to shoot for her first CR Fashion Book issue, “Obsession.” And obsession it became. Roitfeld and Faena continue to make the magic happen with their unapologetic images. You may remember “The Animal Nursery” in Harper's Bazaar which featured Kate Upton holding some ferocious animals, or the precious “Carine’s Sweet 16,” an homage to Carine’s young modeling days. These works mark the beginning of a beautiful friendship, and if you got chosen to be Carine Roitfeld’s main photographer, you know you’ve got it made.

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Sebastian Faena and Carine Roitfeld photos courtesy of and


Elsa Peretti Scorpion Pendant

Carine Roitfeld is renowned for her style, classic with a twist, and her beloved Elsa Peretti scorpion necklace suits her aesthetic perfectly. The elegant metallic scorpion collar pendant is crafted of articulated segments with the menacing claws encircling the neck and the tail poised on the chest in a dangerous flick, so Carine… Designed by Elsa Peretti for Tiffany & Co. in 1979, the curious necklace resulted from her obsession with the scorpions living near her home in Catalonia. The artist shares her inspiration: "While working in Sant Martí Vell, I came across a lot of scorpions. The animals are incredibly attractive, with fascinating mechanics. Strangely they are never around when I need to review something in my design. I have to confess that I had to sacrifice a few. I feel sorry."

Carine acquired this treasured piece years ago and stored it in her bank vault for safekeeping until recently when she retrieved it so she could wear it again. One reason she loves the scorpion is because it reminds her of her partner, Christian Restoin, as Scorpio is his astrological sign; I adore her sweet sentimentality. Carine refers to herself as a collector of the designer's work and also among the treasures in her jewelry box is the Elsa Peretti bottle pendant.

Carine met Elsa Peretti once and remembers her as an amazing woman with an amazing (albeit masculine) voice, she considers the jewelry designer a big talent and one of her big icons. Carine also thinks of Peretti as a muse for the first issue of CR Fashion Book, she styled the editorial "Elsa" in her likeness, casting Catherine McNeil as Peretti as shot by Kacper Kasprzyk in a New York apartment that formerly belonged to Halston. I wonder if McNeil is wearing Carine's own Elsa Peretti scorpion pendant for the editorial… Tiffany & Co. continues to produce the scorpion necklace but in a slightly different variation, it now hangs on a 15.5" inch chain and is cast in either gold or sterling silver. Be sure to view "Scorpion Queen" on CR Fashion Book in which Carine Roitfeld discusses Elsa Peretti and her scorpion pendant.

Elsa Peretti scorpion collar pendant photo courtesy of Tiffany & Co. Carine Roitfeld photos courtesy of Fashion Spot. "Elsa" editorial image by Kacper Kasprzyk for CR Fashion Book.


Alvar Aalto Stool 60

Carine Roitfeld has an eye for the classic in modern design and even the stools in her kitchen nook are a fine example of her aesthetic. The timeless and innovative stool that Carine prefers is the vision of Finnish architect and designer Alvar Aalto, one of the most influential artists in Scandinavian modernism. Designed in the early 1930s, the Stool 60 is an icon in modern furniture, a simple stackable piece constructed of solid natural birch and coated with a thin veneer to accent the beauty of the wood grain. Carine has selected a black laminate finish for the seats of her stools; other color choices are birch, red, and grey. The Alvar Aalto Stool 60 is also part of the permanent collection of The Museum of Modern Art in New York City.

Alvar Aalto Stool photos courtesy of Carine Roitfeld and Christian "Sisley" Restoin apartment photo © 1998 Hearst Communications Inc. All Rights Reserved.


Piscine Pontoise

Piscine Pontoise is one of the best-loved pools in Paris and Carine Roitfeld counts herself among its admirers. Famous as a distinctive backdrop as well as a cozy retreat, the picturesque pool lends its ambiance to a memorable sporty-chic editorial for the second issue of CR Fashion Book,Dive Right In.” Carine describes the inspired setting: "The shoot was done at the Piscine Pontoise, which is one of the most exceptional swimming pools in Paris. I first found out about it from Hedi Slimane years ago. It's great because it is open late at night and they play classical music while you swim."

Located on rue de Pontoise in the Latin Quarter of Paris, the stunning Art Deco landmark was designed by Lucien Pollet and built in 1931. The wrought irons ribs and the opaque glass of the ceiling mesh in a dramatic canopy overhead and mosaics decorate the lobby, giving the pool its unique character. The pool itself is in the basin style and measures 33 meters by 15 meters, divided into six lanes. Surrounding the pool on two levels are 160 private changing rooms and the luxury is enhanced by a personal attendant to open the room for you. Note that in all public pools in Paris, proper swimming costumes are de rigueur: bathing caps or bonnets du bain for everyone and Speedo-style briefs for men. Be sure to bring towels and proper footwear.

Among the illustrious moments in the history of Piscine Pontoise: Juliette Binoche seeking tranquility in the hallowed waters in the film Blue by Krzysztof Kieslowski, Jacques Cousteau testing his first scuba suit before heading for deeper waters, Issey Miyake showing his men’s collection on a catwalk spanning the pool, and Johnny Weissmuller perfecting his trademark Tarzan yell against the Art Deco tiles. Take in a late night swim under the stars at Piscine Pontoise and perhaps the sexy woman winking at you from under her bathing cap in the next lane will be Carine Roitfeld…

Piscine Pontoise photos © Franck Bohbot and L’Internaute Magazine/Agathe Azzis and courtesy of,,,