Even though director Fabien Constant's latest contribution to the growing genre of fashion documentary films, Mademoiselle C, hasn't opened yet, it's already practically a classic. The film, which follows former Paris Vogue editor Carine Roitfeld as she launches her own publication, CR Fashion Book, has been subject to the kind of obsessive pre-release coverage typically reserved for big budget superhero movies.
And that's for good reason, since Roitfeld is kind of like a superhero herself: Blessed with superstyling abilities, she is an outfitted vigilante, fighting the villainous forces of banality, ad pressure and societal taboos. But there's always one bad guy standing in her way: former friend Condé Nast has turned evil arch-nemesis, ousting Roitfeld from her throne at Paris Vogue and prohibiting many of fashion's top photographers from working with the editor on her new venture (to be fair, the photographers willingly signed exclusive contracts, so I might be mischaracterizing the publishing giant, which is less arch-villian than legal stickler).
Mademoiselle C will feature cameos from Karl Lagerfeld, Tom Ford, Donatella Versace, Diane Von Furstenberg, Alber Elbaz and many, many, more — all fashion superheroes in their own right. And importantly, the film was reportedly made according to the highest ethical and creative standards; Roitfeld had no say over final cut and actively made an effort to suppress her desire to control how she appears onscreen.
Or, as she put it: "I warned Fabien from the beginning that I would not judge the movie based on my image and I wouldn’t censor it on the grounds that I thought I looked bad on screen. I accepted his rules and trusted him as I trust everyone I work with. He had the same freedom in this movie that I have in my magazine, and I need that freedom."
Mademoiselle C opens in select theaters on September 11.