Review: ‘Mademoiselle C’ documents fashion magazine launch

A scene from 'Mademoiselle C.'
(Cohen Media Group)

Anna Wintour got her own documentary. Now Carine Roitfeld gets hers. “Mademoiselle C” picks up with the fashion editor/stylist/image maker — she still doesn’t quite know what to call herself — in the wake of her resignation from Vogue Paris, where she served as editor-in-chief for 10 years. She’s embarked on a new adventure: to launch her own magazine, CR Fashion Book, in New York.

It’s a fascinating process, to start something so ambitious from scratch, and the most interesting scenes captured by director Fabien Constant are artists at work. Tom Ford’s onetime muse and the creator of what she calls “erotic chic,” Roitfeld produces layouts that are strong on story and high in theatricality, and her first issue includes minimalist images of women writhing on mirrors, an angel in a shower of feathers, a nude model striding through a cemetery and a baptism straight out of “American Horror Story.”

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Unfortunately, the film doesn’t show its subject’s creative process as much as that of her collaborators, including Ford photographing cinematic scenes from a modern fairy tale he wrote himself and Bruce Weber shooting CR’s pastoral cover with Kate Upton, a donkey, a man in a bear costume and a urinating baby. Meanwhile, Roitfeld is most often depicted hobnobbing with celebrities and sycophants. There’s no reason to include her dim, shaky cellphone footage from the Met Ball other than to demonstrate her proximity to Beyoncé.


Meanwhile, Constant’s mix of music from the French indie pop band the Shoes uses dirge, psychological thriller and horror movie motifs to insert the drama missing in scenes — her former employer Condé Nast’s “war” on CR, for example — that otherwise lack narrative detail.

“Mademoiselle C.” No MPAA rating. Running time: 1 hour, 30 minutes. At Laemmle Music Hall, Beverly Hills.