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 Florence Muller


Marella Agnelli: The Last Swan
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By Todd Selby


O.Z. Diary
By Olivier Zahm 


Carine Gilson

The last issue of Vogue Paris with Carine Roitfeld at the helm was the March 2011 issue, the one that featured the Dutch, (of course), short haired classic beauty Saskia de Brauw. Among the fashion brands represented in the issue, our Carine featured the lingerie of another Carine — Carine Gilson. La Roitfeld has reverently described Gilson’s work as “the most refined lingerie in the world.”

Ms. Roitfeld is not exaggerating. Carine Gilson lingerie is the most refined lingerie that you can get. Dedicated to artisanal fashion, Gilson uses the most luxurious silk on the market: silk with a luster that illuminates the complexion and a sumptuousness that caresses the skin. The silk is made in Lyon, in the same mill that Hermès uses. The lingerie is handcrafted with the finest Chantilly lace.

Carine Gilson’s start in the lingerie business is a testament to her dedication to quality as well as her own personal tenacity. In 1990, Gilson graduated from the acclaimed Antwerp Royal Academy of Fine Arts , and intent on starting her lingerie business, she quickly found a small lace factory in Brussels. Upon further evaluation, however, it became clear that the factory owners did not know how to produce her lingerie the way she wanted it. No one at the time was making couture-grade lingerie. What was Gilson’s solution? It was to save up, buy the factory, and spend the following four years learning the art and trade of making lingerie by hand, using all the subtle techniques for manufacturing traditional lingerie.

In 1994, Gilson produced her first collection of artisanal lingerie. The result was refined, unique, and although the lingerie was made in the traditional way, it was contemporary in spirit. Barneys picked up the line right away. Gilson has stuck to this formula with great success and her business has since expanded. In 2004, Gilson opened up her own branded shop in Paris and today her lingerie is carried in the most exclusive boutiques across the globe. Gilson produces three collections a year: Spring/Summer, Fall/Winter, and Cruise/Swimwear. 

I wonder how a woman lucky enough to don Carine Gilson’s beautiful lingerie feels about having to cover it up. Ms. Gilson’s perspective on this is “L’atelier, c’est mon tresor.” The first person we must seduce is ourselves. Beautiful lingerie enhances how women feel inside. Of course, Carine Roitfeld and Carine Gilson are both privy to this knowledge, we should heed their wisdom...

Images of Carine Gilson lingerie courtesy of All Rights Reserved.


Sant Ambroeus

While visiting New York, Carine Roitfeld was spotted dining with her children, Julia and Vladimir, at Sant Ambroeus on Madison Avenue. The beloved restaurant first launched in Milan in 1936, then opened the Manhattan location in 1982. Sant Ambroeus is renowned for the fine Milanese dishes, the warmth of its staff, and the sophistication of its decor, a casual yet elegant setting that perfectly suits the Roitfeld family. Personally I would add to the list of charms the adorable Sant Ambroeus packaging by Mucca Design, so memorable, so right. As for the menu, the mouthwatering antipasti include the Prosciutto di Parma con Bufala Mozzarella and the Insalata di Nettuno, a mixture of lump and king crab meat with sliced fennel and orange. Among the main dishes crafted by Chef Mario Danieli are the delectable Tonno in Crosta di Sesamo con Baby Peperoni e Broccoli, the tender Tagliata di Manzo al Pepe Verde, and his signature, the Risotto alla Milanese con Ossobuco. Be sure to peruse the pastry case or consider the gelato, reportedly the best outside of Milan. Devoted fans are said to fight for spots for breakfast, lunch, and dinner daily so I suggest a reservation via Sant Ambroeus' site before visiting. Buon appetito!

Sant Ambroeus images © 2009 New York Media LLC and courtesy of and


Ulrika Lundgren

Do you want to look like a star? Let us examine another fashion label in Carine Roitfeld’s personal arsenal — Rika. This Dutch label focuses on seasonless wardrobe staples that stealthily transform the wearer into an ineffably hipper, more refined version of herself. Think youthful, romantic softness turned out in floaty tops and dresses with high hemlines anchored by leather jackets and you get an inkling of what the brand represents.

Rika is designed by Ulrika Lundgren, a former interior stylist for ELLE Decor and Casa Vogue. Fate had a hand in the start of her brand when in 2005, while on a photo shoot in Spain, she had a local craftsman make a leather tote decorated with stars to be used as a set prop. Lundgren got so many compliments and requests from her fashion insider friends that she immediately had 100 more bags created and sold them all in a flash. Lundgren wisely made the star decoration a brand trademark. Of the stars she says, “A star reminds us of that vintage touch-of-Hollywood class as much as of a contemporary hue of rock 'n' roll.” It was not long before Carine Roitfeld caught wind of the brand and was spotted carrying a Rika handbag, no small feat considering her open disdain for bags.

A natural progression from handbags is Lundgren's wildly successful apparel line that is sold by prestigious retailers such as Opening Ceremony in New York, Colette in Paris, and the global online purveyors of all things hip, La Garçonne. Perhaps the draw is the Scandinavian refinement that tempers the rock 'n' roll edge. The collection has a simplicity and an elegance whose strength is shown in playful details that whisper rather than shout. Call it star quality...

Ulrika Lundgren photographs © 2010 och Helsingborgs Dagblad. All Rights Reserved.


Rick Owens

Carine Roitfeld’s appearance is a study in contradiction — at once completely glamourous yet unstudied, even a bit messy to boot. Her look is luxe yet undone, detailed yet simple, edgy yet feminine. With her smudged khôl eyeliner, mysterious shroud of hair, and reckless footwear, she has elegant nonchalance down pat. And to whom does Carine Roitfeld turn for the perfect leather jacket? None other than Rick Owens, but of course. Her choice: A black wrap coat, hitting slightly above the knee, a dramatic obi self-belt gently hugging her waist, punctuated by an oversized shawl collar lined in shearling. On closer inspection one notices that the armholes are set high and that the sleeves are cut skinny and a little long, rendered in soft, supple washed leather so as to perfectly scrunch at the wrist. These subtle details make all the difference. Rick Owen’s leather concoctions are tailored to fit the body like a glove and the results are nothing short of incredible. The long sleeves, the small shoulder, the high armholes, the subtle indentation in the lower back are all crafty design tricks that make the wearer appear longer, leaner, and yes, that indentation in back does in fact make your ass look perkier. No extra lunges required.

No wonder Carine is so fond of her Rick Owens coat. But it is not only the tailoring and the incredible ass perkiness that attracts Carine to Owens' work; one cannot deny the parallels in design sensibilities between the two. Owens’ designs have been hailed as glamour-meets-grunge, avant-garde, subversive, edgy, and sexy. He makes leather jackets with rock star styling then makes them sing with couture-like sophistication. Owens himself says, "I try to make clothes the way Lou Reed does music, with minimal chord changes, and direct. It is sweet but kind of creepy. It's about giving everything I make a worn, softened feeling. It's about an elegance being tinged with a bit of the barbaric, the sloppiness of something dragging and the luxury of not caring."

Owens first attracted attention for his designs when one of his jackets appeared in Vogue Paris on Kate Moss. In 2002, he won the prestigious Council of Fashion Designers of America Perry Ellis Emerging Talent Award. Born and raised in southern California, Owens made the move to Paris in 2003, where he now resides. In 2007, he won the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Award. In terms of physique, the designer himself casts a striking presence with a hard, honed body, and long, straight, dark hair. Now who does that remind you of?

View a brief video of Carine wearing her Rick Owens jacket at the Dior show during Paris Fashion Week in March 2010.

Carine Roitfeld and Rick Owens photographs courtesy of,, and Fashion Spot.


Maryam Kaba

Leave it to Carine Roitfeld to find a sexy form of exercise: Afrovibe, developed by her amazing coach sportif, or trainer, Maryam Kaba. On 17 December, Kaba posted on her Facebook page, "Carine Roitfeld quitte vogue mais ne quitte pas sa coach préférée!!!! au contraire elle aura plus de temps à lui consacrer et les cours seront moins tôt le matin!!!" or in English, "Carine Roitfeld left Vogue but did not leave her favorite coach!! On the contrary, she will have more time to devote to it and the courses will be less early in the morning!"

Kaba's technique consists of two parts: Echauffement Afrovibe to warm up and stretch your head, shoulders, and pelvis before moving into Cardio Afrovibe, a choreographed cardiovascular routine that lasts for a minimum of 40 minutes. While you enjoy moving to the rhythms of the music following Kaba's lead, you are actually targeting various muscle groups to draw on your fat reserves and improving your coordination and rhythm at the same time. Incroyable ! A former French gymnastics champion, Kaba especially likes helping her clients stay focused on the particular goals they envision such as losing weight, quitting tobacco, and building confidence.

Engaging, dynamic, powerful, Afrovibe will have you working out and loving every minute. Try it yourself in the brief videos that Maryam Kaba has kindly shared on YouTube:

Echauffement Afrovibe
Cardio Afrovibe I
Cardio Afrovibe II
Renforcement des Bras

Unfortunately we cannot see Carine in the videos but Kaba's style is infectious whomever she is teaching. Even if you do not understand French, simply imitate her movements and you will be working out like a Roitfeld.

Maryam Kaba images courtesy of her Facebook and Youtube pages