Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Carine Roitfeld and her Irreverence.

Carine Roitfeld is a Rockstar. and I don't even like using that word unless its for someone who is actually a 'Rockstar' , but there is just no other way to describe her. Everything she does is so bad ass its hard not to love her.
For those of you who don't know who she is, Roitfeld was the Editor at Vogue Paris for the  ten years until her resignation in Jan 2011. During her tenure at the publication, Roitfeld constantly challenged and pushed boundaries of what is considered "acceptable" and "beautiful". Her own look is unbelievably stylish -chic, edgy  and androgynous.Mostly black.
Roitfeld, during her time at VP challenged the fundamentals of aesthetics as set by media and society and skillfully  subverted them. She never shyed away from taboos, or toned her editorials down for the benefit of the advertisers of the magazine. She played around with fashion, had fun with with it. Through collaboration with guest-editors like Tom Ford she kept things interesting and different in her editorials.In short, she made Vogue Paris the iconic publication it is today.
There is a vast difference between American Vogue and Vogue Paris, and it is there for all to see. Yes of course, the American Vogue has a larger readership, and the society is far more conservative, so it could never take the direction that Roitfeld took with Vogue Paris.But that's not it. My main issue with AV is that its become a temple for celeb  worship. You hardly ever see models on the cover of AV. One actress  prstarlet after the other, and that's all you get. Maybe one issue out of the twelve in the year has  a model on the cover.But that's it.Second, AV just doesn't take any risks, not the kind Roitfeld's VP takes in its editorials. The editorials in VP  take you out of your comfort zone, make you come face to face with something that might be slightly weird but is brilliant nonetheless. Each photograph tells a story, and can be stared at for a long, long time. Roitfeld was not afraid of showcasing the grotesque, the vulgar, the crass - because those extremes are very real and they are very much a part of the world we live in. Some would argue that they don't need to be showcased and  perhaps celebrated the way Roitfeld did, and that may be true, but that's not much fun is it?

"In a way, I envy the freedom artists have. Artists can push themselves beyond their limits, in pursuit of their ideas and their vision, even if they are inhabited by demons that can also play tricks on them.”

It is widely rumored that Roitfeld resigned (or was fired) after the flak she got for her Dec-Jan issue that was guest edited by Tom Ford ( yep, they're pals and both share their love for porno-chic), making the March 2011 her last issue,and perhaps the most awaited issue in all of fashion history. Her tenure with VP may have ended, but she has announced she will be starting her own magazine - for which the first issue will be published next September.  So yay!!!

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