Carine Roitfeld has revealed that the sixth issue of CR Fashion Book will focus on the French concept of jolie laide. Her idea of the unusually beautiful so far includes Anna Cleveland by Brigitte Niedermair, Kylie Jenner by Michael Avedon, Kristen Stewart by Karl Lagerfeld, and Alexandra Hochguertel in "Boucherie Desnoyer" by Melanie Huynh and Arnaud Pyvka.
Regarding her inspiration for the issue, Carine Roitfeld shared her thoughts: “In fashion, it’s always better to be an interesting person than a beautiful one. Character is much more fascinating than pure good looks. This idea is what inspired me to dedicate an issue to jolie laide, a term that originated in the famous Serge Gainsbourg song of the same name… After hospital [following her multiple back surgeries], I was thinking, What’s my issue going to be about? Because it was very late. So I kept thinking. I like Serge Gainsbourg, the French singer, and he made a beautiful song about Anjelica Huston that I love, too, called 'Jolie Laide.' I think American people know this song. It means 'ugly beauty,' but I think jolie laide maybe is nicer. It’s true in life and mostly in this work of fashion that the idea of beauty has changed… The whole issue will be around this idea of jolie laide—not just about the beauty, but about fashion, about pictures, about something that is more interesting. I think it’s a very good sign for women because we are not all perfect. I made a long story about Michael Avedon; I asked him to do my ugly beauties, in a way. He did the portfolio of jolie laide and it is not easy to photograph a star and make her not as beautiful as people expect her to be. I think he did it in a very smart way; he is a very smart person… I think every beauty needs something weird—a little error or it’s not beautiful.”
I'd like to mention that our style editor, Dara Block, originally suggested the theme of jolie laide for CR Fashion Book during an interview with me in October 2013; I posed the question, "If it were your decision, who would you put on the next cover of Vogue Paris? Vogue Italia? CR Fashion Book?" Dara responded, "I would love to see some of my favorite 90s supermodels on the cover of Vogue Paris, especially the ones I haven't seen in years like Meghan Douglas, Claudia Mason, Shana Zadrick. These girls were so beautiful in the 90s and I would love to know what they are up to and how they feel now about beauty and glamour. For Vogue Italia and CR Fashion Book, I think for either magazine, it would be interesting if they made a cover on the idea of jolie laide. The term is French and it basically means a good looking ugly woman. I think it's an offbeat beauty concept, but I would love to see women like Angelica Huston, Sofia Coppola, Rossy de Palma, and maybe even model Saskia de Brauw on the cover, to show how you can be beautiful in a non-traditional way. I think that would make for a groundbreaking cover... it's time we celebrate being non-perfectly pretty!" Note also that Franca Sozzani chose Sofia Coppola for the cover of Vogue Italia in February 2014. Coincidence? Perhaps….
In any event, we wish Carine all the best during her recovery and we look forward to much more jolie laide when CR Fashion Book 6 hits newsstands in March.
CR Fashion Book images courtesy of crfashionbook.com.