Sunday night of London Fashion Week and Carine Roitfeld is in the basement of the May Fair Hotel drinking shots of vodka. Why? It's the screening of Fabien Constant's documentary - Mademoiselle C - and glasses of Absolut on the rocks are being handed out as freely as water.
"Fun!" I thought, as I arrived at the hotel after a rainy journey from the tube. Instead of popcorn, there's just neat alcohol. How chic.Turns out Carine and her film are all about having the best time.
I wasn't sure if she was asking us to enjoy fashion or the film. Either way - those words resonated for the next 90 minutes.
The documentary follows Roitfeld and her editorial team as they create her debut book/magazine CR. It's clear this project is an important personal ambition for Roitfeld, but as the former Editor-In-Cheif of French Vogue (Carine was at the helm for 10 years), her self-assurance, drive and positivity make everything about the process appear effortless.
In fact, she makes creating a magazine look easy, even though the purpose of this project was probably to prove it's not. Because the high and mighty of the fashion world take everything so seriously, don't they? Not in this film.
It helps Roitfeld is filmed at work with her best friends. Karl Lagerfeld interacts with children TWICE, Tom Ford narrates his fashion fairytale (especially written for CR), Lara Stone gets dressed up as Carine's guardian angel, Donatella Versace sends Carine into shock with her latest cocktail ring collection.
Yes - you probably have to like fashion to get some of the jokes, but Carine's sense of humour makes her earnest magazine project suddenly not so earnest.
Was Anna Wintour filmed sipping vodka and cranberry before the Met Ball in The September Issue? If only. Carine? She drinks vodka to prepare her for the awaiting paparazzi. The best part about this fact is she knows the cameras are never really there for her. "We just take advantage of it", she says in the film.
It's insight into the spirit of one of fashion's most respected editors that makes Carine so likeable. Yes fashion is fun and yes - it should be enjoyed. Vodka shots all round!
More of Mademoiselle C below: