What is it about French accents? In the world of national stereotypes, it has often been said that an Irish brogue makes women want to fall straight into bed, but we tell you that a FRENCH accent has a far more subtle and beguiling power. Oh yes. You see, if you are a native French speaker, anything you say in English sounds convincingly wise, profound and philosophical. Just like in Monty Python’s Quest for the Holy Grail, when John Cleese’s Frenchman shouted out from the battlements of his castle; ‘Your mother was a hamster and your father smelled of Elderberries!’ despite the absurdity, you still feel there is a slight smidge of gravitas.
Bear with us, because there is a point to all this. Yes. Carine Roitfeld is that point. Ever since she left Paris Vogue she has been doing the rounds of interviews with every magazine, from Horse and Hound to the Financial Times fashion section. (Maybe not H&H, but still). Then she starred in her own campaign for Barney’s shop windows, but still, she wasn’t satisfied. Now she has collaborated with photographer Mario Sorrenti once again to create ‘Carine’s World’ videos, again, to promote Barney’s. And yay! Carine speaks! Just like hearing the voice of mute-for-years-then-suddenly- came-out-of-her-shell Kate Moss, Carine talking in her own (‘usky Frrrrrrench) voice is quite a thrill.
And, no. Of COURSE she doesn’t let us down on the wise, profound (but actually ridiculous) pronouncements on life. Like, ‘People are more important than clothes. Although clothes can be a nice envelope, what is more important is the letter inside’ – oh, we actually agree with that one. Try this – ‘I’m come to the fashion through the little door. But I ‘ave never been an assistant. You don’t climb the stairs, you go down.’ Now we’ll leave you in peace to fathom that one out.
Meanwhile, in less cryptic news, Carine gave us all another priceless piece of advice; 'I think it's terrible to wear borrowed clothes,' she told V magazine. 'I don't think it's chic. A couple of years ago, Azzedine Alaïa loaned me a coat that I wore to New York. It was photographed a lot, and everyone wanted to buy it afterward. When I went to return it, Azzedine said, "No, you keep it. There's nothing less chic than a woman who borrows clothes."' That's it! from now on, we are keeping EVERYTHING Alaia lends us. Oh - and Tom Ford, who confirmed this week also that unless Carine wears an item from his collection, it won't go into production. NEXT!
- Naomi Attwood