Not quite The September Issue, not quite Diana Vreeland: The Eye has to travel, Mademoiselle C is a new documentary all about, and only about, the former editor of Paris Vogue and fashion stylist, Carine Roitfeld.
Reading like a love letter to herself ("I am so beautiful, I have the perfect family, I am popular and I am wonderful"), Mademoiselle C, directed by her friend and former collaborator Fabien Constant, tracks Carine's decision to leave Vogue and to produce her own magazine which, as we see in the film, is called CR Fashion Book.
Much like The September Issue, the 2009 documentary which chronicled the Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour's production of her 2007 fashion issue, Mademoiselle C chronicles Roitfeld's journey from inception to production to completion of the first issue of her own fashion magazine, whose title carries her initials. It came out in September 2012, just in time for the fashion shows in New York, London and Milan.
With a staff that practically worships the ground she walks on, they realize that they are under a lot pressure, and with the first magazine becoming bigger than what they anticipated, more money is needed. But does Carine Roitfeld break a sweat about any of this? As we see in the documentary, she does not. She is surrounded by the most rich and famous people in the fashion world. We see Karl Lagerfeld, Tom Ford, photographer Bruce Weber, Donatella Versace, Kanye West, and even Sarah Jessica Parker all singing her praises. Actually, no one says a bad thing about her at all. Can she really be that special and well-loved? Can she really do no wrong?
More self-indulgent stuff comes later in the documentary when we meet her family. Director Constant makes sure they are also part of the limelight by showing how glamorous they are, just like their mother. Her daughter, Julia, who happens to be pregnant during the filming, is expected to give birth to a future model, while her son, Vladimir, uncomfortably calls his mom a MILF. We see more of Carine, throwing back her hair, going to glamorous fashion shows and parties, and living the life that she thinks she deserves. There are also photo shoots galore in this documentary, and her ideas of some of the photo shoots are quite bizarre. (A nude model in a cemetery is all too creepy and inappropriate.)
Mademoiselle C would have worked better if the director was a neutral choice, and not a friend of the family. For what it is, Mademoiselle C is only for true fashionistas, people who know their Coco from their Karl, who know their Anna from their Vera. If any movie felt like a promotional video for it's main star, this one is it.
Who is Mademoiselle C? After seeing this documentary, you kind of wish you hadn't found out.