Carine Roitfeld’s New Book Irreverant

Even though the world has gone digital I am still a sucker for a good book especially if it is a fashion related one. I’m not sure if it’s the feeling of turning each page or discovering each photo in print but a flat screen just doesn’t give me the same emotional response as a thick book does.

Tomorrow Carine Roitfeld former editor of French Vogue, style muse to Tom Ford and one of my personal style hero’s launches her book Irreverant. After Carine’s resignation from her decade long helm at Vogue Paris , the fashion world was left wondering what this arbiter of French chic would do next. Now we know – after Barneys NY-store collaboration, a few major styling jobs, and this aptly named tome of 368 pages filled with photographs accumulated over her 30 year career.

The images include some of her most famous, and most provocative, shoots—including Eva Herzigova posing with a lot of bloody boeuf for The Face in 1997 and last year’s plastic-surgery story with Crystal Renn—also intimate images of Roitfeld’s partner, Christian Restoin, and their children, Julia and Vladimir. In this case Roitfeld’s world encompases both her personal and professional sides and shows the equal passion that she puts into both.

Proceeds from Irreverant will go to benefit AmFar and later this year there are rumors a book she’s doing with Karl Lagerfeld that’s scheduled for December, might include . . . eyeliner? Roitfeld told Vogue during a recent phone conversation from France. “I have so many proposals in front of me, cosmetics or even a clothes line,”. “I didn’t say yes or no.”

Though Roitfeld has had plenty to do since her exit from Vogue Paris, Roitfeld has missed that regular monthly dialogue with her audience… leaving her much to say in this excerpted interview with Vogue.

On releasing editorial control
“I did a story for [the September issue of] V, and we had a lot of fun. But if it was my magazine, I would do all the text, looking for old pictures, looking for jewelry, for everything. Here I just did my story. It was still interesting because I could go further. It’s very nice to be a guest, but you like to receive people around your own table.”

On her fame
“I think everything came with the blogs, because I worked 20 years ago, and 20 years ago no one was talking about me. I didn’t change. Maybe I was at the right moment. But sometimes I say, What is so interesting about me? I am just doing photo shoots. It’s not something that extraordinary. I’m not a great artist, I’m not writing books, I’m not a painter, and people in the streets ask me for a picture or a note and I say why? But I think it’s better to appreciate it, because maybe it’s not forever.”

On the American work ethic
“I love your energy. You’re very quick to react and jump in projects and have a lot of enthusiasm for all projects, I think much more than in France. This I really like. In France, August was a very quiet month. This August [in New York] was not really a holiday for me because I have so much cooking with my book, with Barneys New York [Roitfeld styled and appears in the fall women’s campaign], with V. So I say, Oh, my God, this is America, it never stops.”

On the role of cigarettes in photos
“The book is dedicated to my husband, who quit smoking seven months ago. When he decided to stop smoking, I said, My God, it’s too bad I didn’t try to help him to stop before. Now I decide I will never use a cigarette again in any shoot. When you’re doing fashion pictures, you’re talking to lots of figures; some are very young, and they’re like sponges. So if your girl is smoking a cigarette, they can say, Oh, my God, it’s smart to smoke a cigarette, it’s good for the look, so I’m going to have one, too. And it’s totally stupid. It’s an easy solution to make a picture more interesting, but it’s not the only solution. And now it’s like, forgive me for all these cigarettes I’ve put in all these issues.”
Irreverant can be found on and in bookstores tomorrow.

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