When you explain your philosophy on fashion to anyone who wants to contribute to French Vogue, what is it that you tell them?
Vogue is a very specific world. You are Vogue, or not Vogue. There are some editors and writers who can be very good, and still not Vogue. How can I describe it? It is, first, having the sense of luxury. It’s a sense of craziness, a bit. It’s a sense of beauty, because the images we are printing, most of them are going to be in a museum. It has to be cultural, because I think the French woman is not just interested in fashion. She is interested in painting, reading, movies and art, so it is a lot of things, altogether, to be a Vogue photographer, writer or stylist. And a Vogue reader.
How do you remain personally engaged with fashion when everyone else can see it online?
It’s still exciting to me, because when I am going to a fashion show, I’m not just looking at the clothes. I’m looking at the mood, I’m listening to the music, so sometimes, I can be a bit disappointed in one, two or three shows, and then I see a great one and my energy goes up again. There were some big fashion moments last week in Italy, like when you go to Prada, and wonder what’s she going to do this time, or at Dolce & Gabbana, and you are almost ready to cry. Maybe I still like the clothes. I don't see them just to wear them, I see them as a piece of art sometimes.
Who do you think among the younger generation has the potential to become big?
I am very surprised by someone like Alexander Wang. I am amazed how he is good with fashion, with business, with public relations himself, with an attitude in his clothes that is spoken immediately. And I think a young guy called Joseph Altuzarra, who went to New York, is the next one to be big. The clothes he makes are very beautiful, and they are very wearable.
What bothers you about fashion today?
Sometimes I think, Why do I have to go to a show? Half an hour driving, half an hour waiting, seeing the show, then half an hour back. And when I get back, I see the show on the Internet. Sometimes it goes too quick sometimes. I like the idea of what Tom Ford did in New York. No one saw one outfit, except the 100 people who were guests. It was smart, because it makes envy. It’s too easy that Prada makes a collection and two hours later its on the Net and everyone can copy it. It’s too quick now, but I don’t think we can do anything about that. It’s just the time.
Karl + Carine = bffl's.What's next for you?
I’m full of ideas, and I want to have more parties and shows for the public. I want to make fashion more festive in Paris. This week we have the Vogue bar at the Crillon, where we changed the décor, the cocktail list, the pictures on the wall. The drinks are named after people. My drink is a Testarossa. It’s Campari and vodka, to fly very high, very far, very quick. We have the dirty martini of Stephen Gan — it’s delicious — and the apple martini of Tom Ford. I have a new job now: bartender. That is my dream, and also to open a karaoke.
What would be your song?
“You’re So Vain.” I think in this business, it’s a good song. It’s dedicated to a lot of people.