Illustration by Spiros Halaris
St. Tropez-born Carlyne Cerf de Dudzeele is one of the iconic, outlandish figures known for bringing French attitude to American soil. The stylist famously helmed Anna Wintour's first Vogue USA cover and helped Karl Lagerfeld revamp Chanel in the 1990s, injecting a bold, fun-loving outlook into all of her projects. Dudzeele is one to scoff at trends, instead opting for classique pieces with an enduring quality quite like her own, always enveloped in gold chains and a Chanel jacket. Appointed Editor-At-Large at Lucky Magazine in 2013, Dudzeele's presence has graced hundreds of pages, solidifying her name as a fashion expert, eccentric, and legend. L'Officiel sat down with the style savant to ask her about growing up in France and the creative contemporaries she's known throughout the years.
JOSEPH AKEL: If you could use one word to describe French style, what would it be?
CARLYNE CERF DE DUDZEELE: #CerfStyle
JA: What is it about French culture that lends itself to being a global center of fashion?
CCD: The country is endlessly imbued with culture.
JA: Growing up, what was your introduction to French style?
CCD: My extraordinary mother!
JA: Who were your icons, your inspirations?
CCD: Being raised in Saint Tropez at this time.
JA: You've worked with all of the great French houses and the creative geniuses behind them--Karl Lagerfeld, Azzedine Alaïa. Was there an energy, a spirit, that made them so influential, so inspired?
CCD: Greatest Human Beings! Greatest Simplicity! Greatest Fun! Greatest Geniuses! Each with an infinite culture of EVERYTHING!
JA: What was it like to work with these icons?
CCD: Honesty. Humor. And no bullshit.
JA: America has been your home for some time. When you go back to France, what do you most look forward to?
CCD: L’Art de Vivre!
JA: Paris: what do you love most about it?
JA: Last question: Simone de Beauvoir or Catherine Millet?
CCD: Simone de Beauvoir.