The Fashion Canonization of Carine Roitfeld

“While Anna Wintour may not have lost all her celebrity star power, her status as a fashion icon has been seriously challenged by Carine Roitfeld, the editor in chief of French Vogue ” – Marilyn Kirschner, March 17th edition of her New York Fashion Report.

Now today in the fashion section of The New York Times Guy Trebay devotes almost a full page to paying homage to this editor. It sure took them long enough; it was over a month ago that WWD said about the same thing. And is it just me, or have other readers noticed the increasing use of religious references in The New York Time’s fashion coverage? Carine is called a “Prophet” by Trebay, and this past Sunday Amy Spindler piously referred to Nicolas Ghesquiere as inheriting “The Keys to the Kingdom”. I guess the editors think they speak for or with the authority of God?

Of course not everyone agrees with the new fashion orthodoxy regarding Carine Roitfeld. The following note (original posting March 12th) is from an editor and friend back from the Paris Shows: “Word here is that Carine Roitfeld is out at French Vogue and will be back working with Ford at YSL. Her last issue was a real stinker in the eyes of a lot of people here, and while her personal style is certainly emulated on some runways, it is by no means universally appreciated. She was still clunking around in last season’s YSL gladiator sandals and even SHE knew she could do better (trust me on this one Ernest, it’s an editor’s intuition).”

Our friend continues “The only editor more reviled is probably la Wintour, for the big mess she started in insisting on jamming all the shows together and hurting the younger designers tremendously by flagrantly ignoring them. Marilyn and I are obsessed with discussing Wintour, and I’m sure you’ll be going ‘oh no, not this again’ but no one touches Wintour for appearance among the top journalists and editors. Carine looks like a lost school girl” (or as another well know editor told us today: “like a doe in the headlights wearing seriously sexy threads”).



Ernest Schmatolla is publisher of Lookonline since 1994. It is the longest running fashion site on the Internet.

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