I had the pleasure of seeing Carine Roitfeld for the first time ever and I have decided to share the adventure with you, sparing little of the fabulous detail. My wonderful beau, Michael, and I met up with Kate Ringo Suzuki, Renee Hernandez, and Sartorial Girl for drinks during Fashion Week in New York and of course the conversation shifted to Carine Roitfeld almost immediately. I mentioned that the secret location for the CR Fashion Book launch party was the Frick, which happened to be taking place that night. After much convincing from the group, I agreed to stalk Carine which, contrary to rumor, I had never done before.
We started our stakeout with hors d’œuvres and cocktails at The Mark, the hotel where Carine was staying according to The New York Times. Although we knew she would have already departed for her party, we wanted to get into the CR groove and, well, those sliders are incroyable. As is the chic tiled foyer, je l'adore.
We then cabbed downtown to the Frick and as we alighted from our car, I was delighted to notice four Mercedes emblazoned with her signature CR — brown, white, grey, black — all idling curbside. Carine was here! And it looked as if she would make her exit shortly! We giggled excitedly, the only CR groupies in sight.
As we waited, we were treated to watching various guests examine a display copy of CR Fashion Book while sitting in the front seat of the lead Mercedes, obviously fulfilling a marketing requirement as the flashbulbs snapped. I managed to coax a huge smile from Anna Dello Russo with my excited shout, "Anna, bellissima!" as she emerged from the CR Mercedes. Andre J was another crowd pleaser.
A few minutes later, I asked Natalie Hazard (the woman in charge of the publicity vehicles) if we could look at the display copy of CR Fashion Book. She replied, "You just want to look at one?" No, of course I would prefer to buy one. She said we could buy as many as we wanted for $20 each! I ran back to the group and the $20s flew into my hand... We scored CR Fashion Book five days in advance at the launch party at the Frick, and saved on the enormous cost of postage, truly amazing.
Then came the moments we had all been waiting for... First Monsieur Christian Restoin appeared in front of me and I gasped in recognition. Carine's partner in real life! She is really here! She will likely exit from the same door! Mon dieu! My hair! Why this weather on this day?! What the Frick?!
Soon after followed Vladimir! I hope I didn't startle him too badly with my intense gaze. It was strange listening to him talk with his friends, the whole experience was entirely surreal, like the pages of style.com come to life... There's Derek Blasberg... It's Richard Chai... Lily Donaldson... Mario Sorrenti… Waris Ahluwalia… I must confess that I saw Julia only from the back, I did not recognize her in person.
Next Giovanna Battaglia danced down the stairs of the Frick, posing at the bottom as if just for me. Gio is absolutely stunning in real life, her beauty is breathtaking; I hope she did not notice my gasp. Dressed in black lace and a green headband, she seemed anxious to move on to the next party.
Finally came the pièce de résistance — Carine Roitfeld made her way to the door and stood at the top of the stairs, luminous even in the dim lighting, before descending to the sidewalk and the car awaiting her. Carine gleams in real life, as if a light shines from within, and she was kind enough to stop and pose for photographers before making her grand exit. Quelle nuit !
I was also thrilled to bump into two of the coolest men in media: Fabien Constant, the director of Mademoiselle C., the forthcoming documentary about Carine Roitfeld and the creation of CR Fashion Book; and Brent Murray, one of three photographers admitted access to the event, who kindly permitted me to publish his adorable photograph of Carine and Vladimir which leads off this story — merci mille fois, Monsieur Murray! The other images accompanying the story are mine, such as they are, given the lighting, the weather, and my enormous excitement. Thanks to all for an unforgettable evening!
Carine Roitfeld and Vladimir Restoin-Roitfeld photograph © 2012 Brent Murray. Carine Roitfeld et al photographs © 2012 Kellina de Boer. All Rights Reserved.