If anyone thought that Carine Roitfeld left her post as editor-in-chief of French Vogue (or her "gilded cage," as she says) to relax should think again. The industry mainstay is busier than ever and is involved in styling and consulting projects from Chanel to Barneys. In many ways she's the anti-Anna -- warm, candid, messy but perennially chic. Last week she sat down with German news site Spiegel to chat about life after Vogue. Here are a few of the jucier quotes:
On the excessiveness of the fashion industry: "The fashion industry certainly has its obscene sides. The cost of a coat can be obscene. So can the cost of a photo shoot if you're working with a really good photographer. But when I see how good the photos have turned out or even how well the coat was made or how many people worked on it, it's not quite so obscene anymore. Of course, it's not like we're working in a hospital; we don't save lives every month. We just make decisions about skirt lengths, about an inch more or an inch less. That's all."
On fashion becoming too corporate: "You used to be able to be more playful, but now it's all about money, results and big business. The pret-a-porter shows have become terribly serious. The atmosphere isn't as electric as it once was, and they now have about as much charm as a medical conference."
On the state of fashion today: "Today's fashions don't let people dream as much as they used to. Twenty years ago, fashion was a promise -- something that was part of your life and perhaps enriched it, something that reflected a particular era. If you look at advertisements these days, all you see are handbags. They aren't about dreams anymore; customers are buying objects now, not dreams."
On growing older in an industry that praises youth: "Well, during photo shoots, you come across these beautiful 16- or 18-year-old women who have perfect bodies and not a single wrinkle -- but their pictures are retouched. Under these conditions, when you look in the mirror, you have to be happy with yourself, remain young at heart and keep that rock 'n' roll attitude."
On the rumors that she was going to take over American Vogue: "That was never seriously under discussion. I like to provoke. I'm very French. In America, they're not even allowed to show a hint of nipple in photos. Anna Wintour is the most powerful woman in the global fashion industry, the first lady of fashion. She's a politician; I'm a stylist. They are two very different jobs. Incidentally, despite all the rumors, she is actually very nice.
Her fashion advice: "If you don't want to make any mistakes, buy black clothes. That's always good. And from age 50 on, you can slowly start adding a little beige. That's softer. Every five years, you should take a critical look at your own wardrobe and, if necessary, eventually swap your bikini for a one-piece swimsuit."