Saturday, 20 February 2010

London Fashion Week - Day 2: Carine Roitfeld, an Elegant Visitor

Is there anything more restorative on a Saturday morning after a rather too hard night of partying than a bacon and egg sarnie? And I don't mean in a Smallbone or Philippe Starck kitchen. No good at all. I mean a greasy spoon. There's a great one just round the corner from where I live in London. I use it rarely as I am normally out of town at weekends but this morning, being here for London Fashion week, I popped in. What I love about London was all there: overwhelming smell of bacon and sausage cooking, all the red tops and a great mixture of people. The two scaffolders reading the back page of The Sun are standard, so is the guy checking out the form on the racing page but what makes Soho so great is the unexpected. This morning, two very thin and earnest guys discussing the influence of Ezra Pound on T S Eliot's verse. Love it all.

Carine Roitfeld,the charismatic editor of French Vogue, is in London to attend a few very carefully selected shows. I am a great fan. Neither pretty nor beautiful, instead – and much more interestingly – she is a classic French jolie laide with immense personal style. And that is worth much more than beauty every time, in my opinion. Androgynously thin, eyes like smudges of cigarette ash, dead-straight hair and always a-teeter on vertigenously high heels, she is an original - and one who, unlike any other Vogue editor, inspires not only designers but a multitude of copies - in her own country.

Because another thing I love about this uber stylish lady is that she is entirely French … no, full-throttle Parisienne. As elegantly removed from the confusion of a fashion week as a borzoi in the Bois De Boulogne photogrpahed by Lartigue. And, of course, she smokes. Ticks all the boxes. She is a modern Marchesa Casati, a legendary fashion figure from the beginning of the last century, who enslaved men wherever she went.

I love both of these women for their unique style that comes perfectly naturally from a mind-set that is the result of a philosophy of life. They tower above all others. Carine Roitfeld should, by rights, not be allowed in London during LFW: she makes all our fashion journalists look as if they are just about to bring the cows into the milking parlour! But I am thrilled she is here.

Photo from Evolvestyle


  1. Hi, Colin:

    I enjoyed how you describe Carine here, except for the smoking—ugh! I had read elsewhere that she did not smoke, is that confirmed?

    Also, have you seen Carine dressed as Casati as captured by Karl Lagerfeld?


  2. For your reference:

  3. Agree - so great to such a stylish lady at LFW.
    If only Tavi had made it over the pond, we could have had the venerable duo front row centre at Hakan!