I Want To Be A Roitfeld

Kellina de Boer

Dara Block

Jessica Eritou
Renee Hernandez
Bernie Rothschild

quoi de neuf
Carine Roitfeld




Julia Restoin-Roitfeld




Beauty Products


Beauty Secrets

Style Tips



Mademoiselle C

Mademoiselle C (2013)
Directed by Fabien Constant

IWTB Interview:
Fabien Constant




Harper's Bazaar

carine roitfeld: irreverent

I Want To Be An Alt

I Want To Be A Coppola

I Want To Be A Battaglia


Tom Ford
By Tom Ford


Yves Saint Laurent 
By Roxanne Lowit


The Big Book of the Hamptons
By Michael Shnayerson


A Message for You
By Guy Bourdin


Dior: The Legendary Images
By Florence Muller


Marella Agnelli: The Last Swan
By Maria Agnelli


Fashionable Selby
By Todd Selby


O.Z. Diary
By Olivier Zahm 

« IWTB Interview: Fabien Constant | Main | Vogue Paris Translation: Editorial, August 2004 »

Vogue Paris August 2004: China Charm

Vogue Paris August 2004: China Charm
By Jessica Eritou

The childlike, delicate elements to "China Charm" in Vogue Paris provide a tranquil motif throughout the editorial. Shot by Craig McDean and styled by Carine Roitfeld herself, this 2004 editorial features Gemma Ward, one of fashion's most missed models till this day. This was a smart move for Vogue Paris to cast Ward as the model because of her soft, delicate features which complement the shoot effortlessly.

However, the shoot tends to fall flat. There is a fine line between cultural appropriation where instead the art becomes a stereotype but the editorial seems to be quite distant from the title itself. Most of the clothes featured Italian designers like Gucci and Dolce & Gabbana. The poses are somewhat predictable and short-lived, yet the reader gets a sense of what Carine Roitfeld was trying to embellish with this shoot. Each of the selected garments were beautifully crafted clothes, yet too high of contrast to grasp the details of the garment.

The first shot captures Ward in a very delicate, overly feminine position showcasing her figure. Her jacket features an Asian inspired Mandarin collared top with nothing on underneath. This is paired with a dark, lush, restrictive wiggle skirt. Underneath are patterned leggings with something you might see on a teapot.

The second shot looks more like an advertisement for the Sony camera featured throughout “China Charm.” This is a very stunning, powerful shot of Ward, but the composition of the shot and the placement of the camera is all the reader can grasp.

A great and successful shot features Gemma Ward in the black, shiny, sleeveless full-length ball gown. Convincingly, this shot does not showcase any of the themes in this editorial nor the title of it, yet it is so simple and profound. Ward is used as a model without any connotations, just simply for fashion.

Another highlight in this shoot was of Ward looking stunning in all red, paired with a beautiful T-strap sandal. There is a story behind this shot, this work now has the reader intrigued as to what is going on due to her body language and pose. Her lavender hair is in harmony with her, perhaps, painted on socks, or hosiery. This is complementary with the hue of the red fur cropped cape and the body-con silk dress. Although each garment is the same hue, the textures contrast wonderfully for this shot.

Gemma Ward is featured in a gorgeous Alexander McQueen dress which artistically combines in every element from the minimalist background she is shot against, to her lavender streaked hair, to the flowers featured on the dress. The Sony camera appears again but used quietly as an accessory and not in the foreground this time. The reader is able to grasp the simplicity and the delicacy of Gemma Ward and the dress with tranquility.

Perhaps the best shot is a close up of Ward in a textured jacket featured a side zipper, holding on to the camera, while she has a simple hair accessory at the top of her crown of hair. There is such a strong emotional sense the viewer can get from this shot. Finally, there is a story to be said. We wonder what is she thinking, why is she positioned that way.

Perhaps simplicity and purity was the goal to this shoot, but overall could have gone much further with more depth to the storyline behind each photograph. Only a select few images grasp the reader's attention as to what is going on in the model's head or the shot itself. The clothing selected is beautiful, but nonetheless I wish Roitfeld and McDean pushed much harder for this editorial. Instead, it leaves a relatively safe feeling, knowing how much more it could have been with their potential.

connect with iwtbar  bloglovin | facebook | pinterest | tumblr | twitter

Vogue Paris editorial image © 2004 Condé Nast. All Rights Reserved.

PrintView Printer Friendly Version

EmailEmail Article to Friend

Reader Comments (4)

I always thought that her legs was made of steel but it was from tom ford last ysl collection how time flies
6 septembre 2013 | Unregistered Commenterbernie
Fall 2004 was such a great season for italian designer. The Dolce & Gabbana collection was just glorious.
I miss Gemma a lot. I wish Miuccia, Carine or Karl will bring her back one day. I miss Eugenia Volodina too.

That season, Gemma was the face of YSL. The campaign was shot by Craig McDean...how funny^^
7 septembre 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLOLA
I actually like this editorial a lot it reminds me of a wong kar wai film...I see a lot of CR in this one, and I love this year in fashion...gemma ward was the it girl, tom ford for YSL was at its best and I appreciate the overall asian-parisian aesthetic of this layout. I remember that was such a glamorous trend back in 2004, which I really liked!
8 septembre 2013 | Unregistered Commenterdara block
I like to think of this shoot as Carine forecasting the era of the selfie.

8 septembre 2013 | Registered Commenterkellina

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
All HTML will be escaped. Hyperlinks will be created for URLs automatically.