Re-ignited – And It Feels So Good

Anna may have gotten the first shots, but Carine pulled off the ultimate cover coup.

Mme Roitfeld booked Tom Ford to guest edit ze grand dame of magazines – Vogue Paris, for the December/January issue.

Ford + 15-year old Daphne Groeneveld photographed by Mert & Marcus.

[Click on images to view larger version. If you are having a Jerry Hall moment, you are not the only one.]

In cahoots? The pair at the amfAR gala in Cannes earlier this year.

Of course, Roitfeld insists this was before anyone knew that Mr. Ford was going to be designing womenswear, but given that Carine has been a muse for Mr. Darling for the equivalent of a fashion lifetime, I am guessing she had un petit hint.

A true fashion native, Mr. Ford collaborated with long-time friends such as Lisa Eisner for this issue.

Frankly, I believe this was all part of a non-masse, un-fast fashion plan by the savvy duo to do things a little old school, to have a long-term strategy (to you new marketing kids, it still works), to give us glossy content, via traditional (so old its new again) silky-paged magazines that you pick up on an actual street corner, cross the cobblestoned street corner in your stilettos with, and read while sitting at Café de Flore, deep claret lipstick lining your cup as you pour over pictures and imagine the tailoring of a jacket hitting your curves.

These two know how to give good fantasy, each in their own right.

Crystal Renn poses for Ford's editorial on the comedy circus that is plastic surgery.
Everything sounds better in French, non?

The two of them together are just reminding me of what fashion is all about.

I am tired of generic, low-end, high volume.

I want the excitement of a new arrival at my local mag boutique – even on days when I am already carrying too much.

Betty Catroux, one of Ford's muses.
The other Daphne G.
Lauren Hutton wearing my suit. I could look at this tailoring for hours and hours.

I want to have waited for a perfect suit for so many years – to have that hunger satiated – like biting into a Ladurée rose macaroon after ages of wanting that taste in your mouth again.

I want something that not everyone can have by lining up or going online. (This is also why I don’t believe the Tom Ford + H&M rumour. Why would a man wait so long to step back into womenswear, hold an exclusive show, not release any images of it and then go fast fashion as the next step? It doesn’t make sense to me and might just break my heart.)

I want the fantastical whimsy of fashion again – as I have learned to love it, photograph after photograph, gradually built up like the perfect ensemble.

I want the luxury of slow fashion, again.

Fashion is ageless.

I want images from current magazines to resonate with me years later, as the ones from old Detours and Taxis and Liz Tilberis Harper’s Bazaars and Anna American Vogues have for decades. They are vivid slide shows in my mind – remembered far better and in greater detail than some of the master artworks I had to memorize in school.

Starchitecture: Mr. Ford's Santa Fe "ranch"

I want my passion and desire for fashion back and something about this reminds me of a time when I adored it so – when it was still something that not everyone knew.

Reviving old passions…rooting new ones…isn’t that a perfect way to end 2010 and ring in a beautiful, glamourous, amorous 2011?

The issue hits stands November 30th. [Update Jan 4th: Darlings, this is Carine’s last issue – pick one up before the collector’s edition is gone! It hit newstands in Toronto over the weekend, after many delays with planes, trains and automobiles.]

All images courtesy of Vogue Paris.

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