I've often wondered why I wasn't born in Paris so that I could have the charmed life of Carine Roitfeld, the rock-chic editor of French Vogue who's known for her powerful personal style and her visionary stewardship of the magazine. In fact, her style--razor-sharp straight hair, smoky eyes, unruly brows, a black-and-gray palette, and always, always the highest of heels--has often driven the magazine's aesthetic. Roitfeld is just as firm in her belief in fashion and beauty as a way of life as her U.S. counterpart, Anna Wintour ("All my girls are very skinny and very chic and very beautiful," Roitfeld told New York magazine in a profile last year, describing her employees. "And if they are not beautiful, well, then they are very charming"). But she may be less beholden to advertisers and celebrity culture. French Vogue approaches fashion with an admirable, if intimidating, single-mindedness.
Members--current and future--of the cult of Roitfeld can watch a three-part feature on her as she heads to fashion weeks in New York and Paris online at CNN.com (click here for parts one, two, and three.) Check out the space-age shoulders on the grey dress she's wearing--signs of what's to come.