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Karl Lagerfeld and Carine Roitfeld Talk Naked Photo Shoots and Unconventional Beauty

carine roitfeld
Photo courtesy of Interview
Carine Roitfeld, shot by Karl Lagerfeld for the September issue of Interview

After pairing up Donatella Versace with Riccardo Tisci for its last issue, Interview Magazine is continuing its hot streak of fabulousness with a tête-à-tête between Carine Roitfeld and Karl Lagerfeld.

For the magazine's September issue, which is fronted by a veil-wearing Anne Hathaway, the Chanel designer photographs the former Vogue Paris editrix as she flashes some serious leg in a black dress and seamed stockings.

Longtime friends, the chic pair bond over common loves like Helmut Newton ("There are two things that are being imitated everywhere: Chanel and Newton's photos," Lagerfeld says. "There are photographers that I will not name who are really shameless.") and naked photo shoots ("everybody should be naked," Roitfeld proclaims). The two also share a common disdain for traditional beauty.

"I think that something needs to be weird in order to have a real beauty," says the recent Barneys campaign star. "Beauty can be quite boring, especially if you're talking about beauty that doesn't last. And what lasts is exactly the thing that maybe wasn't pretty at first—it comes over time to be beautiful or interesting or exciting.

"There are certain models who might not be considered beautiful either ... look today at a model like Mariacarla [Boscono]. She might not be one of the prettiest girls in the classical sense but she outlives everyone and everyone wants to work with her. I think personality is more important than looks."

Of course, it helps to have both. When asked by Lagerfeld about her popularity amongst designers and stylists, Roitfeld—who styled his Fall 2011 campaign for Chanel—jokes, "It's like when you're making love to a woman. A man will say, okay, I have more fun with her than with others. ... I think, in many ways, certain people sought me out maybe because they liked my body language or they liked the way I wore a slit skirt, the way I cross my legs or carry my purse. It's quite inspiring to play the seduction card."

The David Webb campaign collaborator also credits her "anti-boredom" stance in helping her establish an "erotic-chic" reputation (please don't call it porno).

Influential friends like Tom Ford and Mario Testino also come in handy, though Roitfeld describes her relationship with the latter as mutually beneficial.

"I helped him understand what a woman is, how she closes her legs, how she feels on high heels, how she wants to pull at her T-shirt and skirt," she says. "And Mario taught me to speak better English, which I was doing badly at the time. He also gave me confidence. When you have confidence, when you feel loved by people, you can tell them the truth. It's important that I can say the photo isn't beautiful or the photo shoot sucks."

And though Roitfeld, who has a book coming out this fall, is fielding opportunities left and right, she says freedom is hugely important to her. That's why she "could never" work full-time for a large fashion house (she also says she's "not sure" if she would ever work for a magazine again, but has "plenty of ideas on the subject.")

"Now I have all of this freedom ahead of me," she says. "I only want to do fun projects ... I am like a lemon. I'm pressed for more juice. When I have fun, there's still juice. I am not dried up ... "

As if there were ever any doubt!

For more of Roitfeld's photo shoot and conversation with Karl, visit Interview online and pick up the September issue.

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