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Go inside the worlds of art, fashion, design, and lifestyle.
By Eliza Jordan
September 16, 2021
Last Friday, ahead of its official opening later this month, we joined special guests at the new Casa Cipriani in Manhattan for an unforgettable New York Fashion Week (NYFW) party. At every turn, attendees were awash with style and flamboyance, greeted by designers and talents, and showered with martinis galore. The fête was a special event the fashion icon Carine Roitfeld dreamt up with Grey Goose, specifically to celebrate the return of NYFW and one of her favorite timeless accessories—a martini.
The ambiance was warm, with rooms of red velvet decor dimly lit, leading attendees from one room to the next to explore music, light bites, and a star-studded space to be inspired by. Fashion designers, models, actors, musicians, and other VIPs—like Tom Ford, Peter Dundas, Taraji P. Henson, Julian Schnabel, Dylan Sprouse, Barbara Palvin, Shanina Shayk, Candice Swanepoel, Kehlani, Symone, Stella Maxwell, Michael Avedon, Charli XCX, Shai Alexander, Dale Moss, Tommy Dorfman, Julia Restoin Roitfeld, Maye Musk—joined in to dance to live DJ sets by both Soo Joo Park and Kaytranada.
As A-listers danced until early hours in indoor and outdoor lounge areas, espresso, apple, and dirty martinis solidified the resurgence of the iconic cocktail this season.
In celebration of her party, Whitewall spoke with Roitfeld to learn what she has in common with the famous vodka brand, what CR Fashion Book stands for, and what she hopes the future of fashion will look like.
WHITEWALL: Can you tell us a bit about your event this week, in partnership with Grey Goose?
CARINE ROITFELD: I’m very excited about our CR Fashion Week Party with Grey Goose vodka this week. It’s my first trip to NYC since the pandemic and the return of NYFW, so what better time to celebrate? The party is all about letting your hair down and having a fabulous evening—no dress code. Guests can feel free to come when they’d like, wear what they’d like, and drink what they’d like—although we will all be celebrating with vodka martinis, which I think have become this season’s hottest accessory, no?
There will be all different variations. The martini is not just with a twist or dirty with olives—although I do love an extra, extra dirty martini, of course. I even helped design my own signature Grey Goose Apple Martini, which was inspired by a fond memory I have with Tom [Ford] in the late ‘90s. [Laughs] It’s a modern take on the iconic cocktail, with a kick of heat, and is the perfect Martini to welcome the return of NYFW and the Big Apple. Kaytranada and Soo Joo Park will also be DJing the event. It’s going to be a fun evening filled with dancing and seeing old friends!
WW: What do you feel you and the spirits brand have in common?
CR: I have always loved vodka, perhaps it’s the Russian in me. [Laughs] And martinis are my go-to cocktail when I’m feeling celebratory. So many of the most important and special moments during my life have been marked with a Martini toast. To me, the martini is the “little black dress” of cocktails and the perfect accessory—chic, timeless, and recognized around the world. I can enjoy one whether in in New York, Paris, or Milan.
But to make a great martini you need great vodka, which is why I’ve always loved Grey Goose. You know, their vodka is made with wheat from Picardie, which is used by the finest patisseries in France, and distilled only once? I think this is why Grey Goose has a very clean, silky, and smooth taste, which really shines in a martini. I also think we believe in a lot of the same things—quality, natural ingredients, and effortless style. We are both French after all!
WW: What does your NYFW schedule look like this season? Any not-to-miss shows this season?
CR: Busy! [Laughs] It’s my first time at NYFW in two years, can you believe it? I won’t be attending as many shows as I usually do, as I am here to work with Tom [Ford] and help prepare for his show on Sunday. I’ve collaborated with Tom for so many years, but am especially excited for people to see his new collection. It’s beautiful, as always, and I know the world will love it.
Aside from NYFW, this is also a very special time for me because we have just announced our upcoming issues of CR Fashion Book and CR MEN. The theme for this season is “CR PARADE” and is inspired by extravagant showmanship through history. They are two of the biggest issues we’ve ever created and I’m very proud of the cover stars, especially Adut Akech, Travis Scott, Megan Fox, Irina Shayk, Candice Swanepoel, Janet Jumbo, Lara Stone, and Tijki Sidibe.
WW: Do you have any emerging designers on your radar?
CR: I have been supporting Nensi Dojaka for a while. She just wont the LVMH Prize, which I am so happy for! Also, Alled Martinez, Rokh, Ottolinger I love. Matty Bovan 300 percent, and also, Maximilian. There are so many inspiring young designers right now. It is wonderful.
WW: After much time in isolation amid the pandemic, how are you thinking about the importance of fashion now?
CR: Fashion is all about freedom. Freedom of expression, creativity and exploration. After a period of separation and isolation from my family and friends, this sense of freedom is more important than ever. I’ve loved seeing what people are wearing on the streets in recent weeks because it feels like people have been waiting to express their character and personality to the world. This unusual period has shown me how powerful of a tool fashion is for connection. Its less about the physical clothes themselves and more about providing a canvas for people to feel seen, heard, and understood. I don’t this importance is ever going to change.
WW: What do you feel CR Fashion Book represents today?
CR: More than a magazine, I view CR Fashion Book as a community for limitless dreaming, inspiration and self-expression. From our readers to our friends and collaborators, we’ve built a family that celebrates individuality, creativity and storytelling. I believe everyone has unique story to tell – whether it be through clothes or words – and I hope for CR Fashion Book to provide them a platform to do so. Beyond covering important topics of the real world, CR Fashion Book is a place for fairytales. Its always important for me to create a sense of fantasy in my issues. Especially during time in isolation, we created CR AIR and CR Parade as a way to remind the world that our minds and imaginations have no boundaries.
WW: How would you describe your personal style?
CR: My style has always been a true reflection of me – I don’t try to impress anyone else! I love feeling sexy and confident, but at the same time sophisticated and comfortable. I simply wear what makes me feel like my most beautiful self – whether a gown or jeans. I do have one rule though: you can never have too many pairs of heels.
WW: What are some of your forever go-to fashion pieces?
CR: My closet is always changing but I have a few special pieces that I will cherish forever. Karl [Lagerfeld] gave me a Chanel bag years ago that I still carry to my most important occasions. It’s been by my side through life!
WW: What is your hope for the future of fashion?
CR: I hope for the industry to lead with love and continue breaking boundaries. This new generation of designers are fearless and very community focused. Beyond their designs, their platforms are rooted in inclusion, respect and acceptance. It’s so beautiful to see and exactly what fashion –and the our wider world – truly needs.
Go inside the worlds of art, fashion, design, and lifestyle.