What better way for New York Fashion Week spring 2014 to get under way than the world premiere of Mademoiselle C, a fashion doc that’s both fun and utterly charming? Directed by well-known Parisian fashion documentarian Fabien Constant, it portrays the amazingly chic 58-year-old French fashion icon Carine Roitfeld as she leaves the helm of French Vogue after a decade, and decides to launch her very own bi-annual New York-based magazine called CR Fashion Book.
The Hollywood Reporter was a sponsor of the screening and after party, along with MAC cosmetics, Porsche, Lovegold, Absolut Elyx and Harper’s Bazaar.
The crowd that attended the Florence Gould Hall theater on East 55th Street might have been the best-dressed ever observed at a movie premiere. Roitfeld herself donned a long, printed, sheer multi-colored mermaid skirt by Givenchy’s Riccardo Tisci, who appears in the doc with her, along with designers Tom Ford, Karl Lagerfeld and Donatella Versace. Kanye West, Kim Kardashian, P. Diddy, Kirsten Dunst and others all make brief cameo appearances.
The screening attendees included Sarah Jessica Parker, dressed very casually; actresses Kelly Rutherford, Rose Byrne and Taraji P. Henson; supermodels Karlie Kloss, Alessandra Ambrosio, Karolina Kurkova and Lily Donaldson (in Balenciaga); the Brant Brothers (called by one wag “the new Hilton sisters”); designers Carly Cushnie and Michelle Ochs, who showed their spring 2014 collection triumphantly on Friday; plus Maria Sharapova and Hollywood stylist George Kotsiopoulos.
Constant introduced the film by saying, “This is one chic crowd!” snapping pics of the audience before the doc began. Cohen Media distributor Charles Cohen — who also owns, among other things, the Pacific Design Center in L.A. — said he bought the film “sight unseen. It’s the right person in the right film at the right time. I thought filmgoers would like to get to know an icon — a friendly icon — that they were not yet familiar with.”
Said Constant to THR on the red carpet, “I learned about Carine that she is mixing everything — work and personal life — but I didn’t expect it to be that much. So the lady you see here is the one you see on the screen, and the one you see in the CR Fashion Book is the one you can see in everything she does. It’s like a therapy when you go to see the film. I’m really happy with the work of the team. I think of magazines, of everything, shooting is about a team.”
On the carpet, THR asked Roitfeld to describe the most difficult thing about running a magazine.
“It’s nothing compared to looking at me tonight on the screen!” laughed the modest editor. “Running a magazine, doing the photoshoots, it’s what I love, it’s what I’m doing for years, and I hope to do many years again. Now, looking at myself tonight, this is difficult!”
Tennis great Sharapova, in Stella McCartney, was one of the many in the crowd revved up for NYFW. “I love seeing the shows,” she cooed. “The vision and seeing it come to life. It’s so much different than seeing it on a computer screen. It’s a whole different energy with the music and the environment, so it’s a lot of fun.”
Miranda Kerr arrived to the premiere decked out in Dolce & Gabbana, and expressed how difficult it was to choose a look for both the premier and the after boisterous after-party, held at the Four Seasons restaurant pool room. “Carine herself is the queen of fashion, really, and she’s very chic and elegant and tonight is about her and Mademoiselle C. I just felt the lace and the velvet on this dress was a nice combination. And it fit perfectly!”
Kyle MacLachlan arrived with wife Desiree Gruber, who is the producer behind Project Runway. “I didn’t get to see the film tonight,” said MacLachlan at the Four Seasons restaurant after party. “I was working. But Des did and she loved it. I actually can’t wait to see it. I understand it’s not at all what you would expect from a fashion documentary.”
Model Kate Upton, who graced the cover of the very first CR Fashion Book release, which sold out in two weeks, wore Lanvin to the event and agreed with most there that, “Carine is so inspiring. She’s just an amazing person, and whenever you’re working with her, she has this vision and you bring it together and it’s so much fun. Especially when Bruce Weber was on our set, we had all these babies and animals, and she always throws something a little crazy at me.”
At the riotous after party at The Four Seasons, Roitfeld held court in the boisterous setting, with loud music and excellent champagne and caviar (New York meets Paris) with photog Terry Richardson, Rose Byrne, Moda Operandi’s Lauren Santo Domingo, makeup artist Tom Pecheux, blogger Natalie Joos, and, well, a crowd that seemed obsessed with either New York black or soft off-white chic, a new look for NYC early fall.
“This is just a black-and-white town,” observed one fashionista, and by the looks of things, it certainly was. But no one was muted when it came to the film, which won over this tough crowd with sheer charm and authentic determination.