“I’m from France, raised in the south of France. I have always been passionate about fashion. I think you need to be born with this in your stomach. You can learn a lot of things, but you cannot learn style. Style is your insides. It’s like a singer: a singer is born lucky because they have a voice. Some people are born lucky because they have style, some others are lucky because they know how to cook… I think it’s something that you have to be born with.
My mother was an extremely chic lady. Chic is not about designer clothes; chic is not about money. Chic is about personal style, how to mix your things together. I think Adidas is to die. I’m obsessed by Adidas—obsessed. I think it’s one of the chicest things in the world. And I absolutely adore Jeremy Scott, too. I wear a lot of sneakers—Adidas by Jeremy Scott. I have a collection. You know, me, I love to collect. When I go crazy, I collect. It’s not that I wear everything, I don’t care, I just have to see it in my closet and I’m happy. I hate trends—I never follow trends, never, ever in my life. I do my own personal style.
In my work, I never think too much. I hate brainstorming. I hate people who think too much. I’m not someone who puts references and boards like they do now—it’s in my head. I do this with instinct. When I cook, I have instinct; I’ve never opened a cookbook in my life. It’s like at a sitting [for a shoot]: I need the girl in front of me to dress her. I never can put the same thing [on a different girl]. I work on the girl, so if the girl changes, it’s not the same story…. I love a lot of girls: I love sexy girls, absolutely, sexy girls. I love a model who loves fashion. Unfortunately there’s not a lot now who understand the attitude. They are too young, I think—they don’t get the fashion. I mean, it’s not their fault. But, you just put things on them and basta! It’s not like the real models before who enjoy. You know, Linda, Naomi, Christy… All those girls, they know what they love. I like the women models now, like Aymeline [Valade]. It’s not about age, it’s about having it inside. It’s energy. I love energy, I hate sad—I hate sad. I like smiling in pictures, I love some teeth. When I do my pictures, I always want teeth, fresh, divine, sexy, happy.
Sure, I prefer a sexy body type. Also, when the girl glows and she’s tan—I love the tan, otherwise I die. This is what I always call ‘the beautiful skin.’ Laura Mercier used to do the best skin. J’adore Laura. J’adore. She’s the one that was doing the best skin ever—she was taking time. And François Nars. Makeup is all about the skin.
Beauty for me is inside. I never go do a facial, I don’t care about this. Though I’m obsessed with my nails. When I go to Paris, my appointment for my nails is already taken care of before I leave New York. I don’t go to manicure in New York; I do it here myself, and I do it perfectly. I always do a natural color, pink but a little white. I use Herôme, a French product that makes your nails strong. And I always put white pencil under [the tips]. I don’t like the French manicure with the white tip—I hate it. I love clear and fresh! I hate yellow nails; I think it happens when someone uses a lot of red polish. I always tell the models to please take off the red nail polish when they go in the sun. Yes! Because when you have red polish on, after your nails go yellow—absolutely. Me, if I go to the sun, I take off everything.
I love the sun. I’ve been in the sun since I was a kid in Saint-Tropez… I used to apply the ‘tan vinaigrette’—you know, the olive oil with vinegar. Then, I started using the cream, from the milk of the cow. It was very in-fashion in Saint Tropez! You went from vinaigrette to the cow cream. It was a very thick cream, and people used to use it on their hands, and it was very à la mode to use it for tanning; we all had it. It was very sticky. I’m always a bit obsessed with sun. But, it shows on my face because—wrinkles!—but c’est la vie, ci comme ça! I absolutely adore sun.
I always like to be tan. During the winter I go to the sun. Or I do François Nars’ the Multiple, in Palm Beach. I love Nars. The other one I love is Waikiki, but they don’t do it anymore. This is also good: Lancôme Dual Finish Powder in Matte Honey. It’s not new, but it’s perfection. Also, the Nars Tinted Moisturizer is the best product. It’s insane. Look at it! The texture is insane. It’s absolutely to die. I never use foundation, just that.
For makeup, I do my eyes with François Nars’ Black Moon pencil, and my lipstick is something from the pharmacy called Avène Cold Cream that I absolutely adore. It’s white, transparent, but it gives this little white tint I love. I’m obsessed with it. I mean, if I leave my home without this in my pocket, I die.
I use a lot of François Nars skincare, a lot of Chanel, and things from the French pharmacy. To clean my eyes, I use Klorane Soothing Eye Makeup Remover—perfection, perfection. This is my cream in Paris, divine: A-Derma Crème Epithéliale. I never remember which it is when I go to the pharmacy so I have to bring a picture. [Laughs] You know, it’s all the French things—Avène and La Roche-Posay, which I adore, especially La Roche-Posay Micellar, to remove makeup and clean. And I love my Chanel Sublimage for the face. I use Rogé Cavaillès on my body. It’s for dry skin—I always bring them back from Paris, always, always. And I always have Homeoplasmine with me for anything: lips, cut, whatever, I put it [on]. This is important: do you know about Biafine? Biafine is a product you use when you take too much sun. It is the best thing in the world. This is one of those things that I bring back from Paris and I put in the fridge. It helps heal the burns. I also put the Klorane eye patches in the fridge, which is the best because you put them on in the morning and it’s cold. I don’t do it every day—almost every day, when I have time.
My hair is done by the BEST, BEST, BEST colorist called Sophie Georgiou at Sharon Dorram [at Sally Hershberger] —amore! You have no idea—she is insane, she’s the best, best, best person in life. She does everything: highlights, color. I have some gray; I like to cover it. Otherwise, I use all the Oribe products; I love them. And when I go into the sun, I put in tons of the Leonor Greyl Huile de Palme. And I never wash my hair, just rinse. My hair is a bit dry, so the oil helps it a bit. The Nuxe oil is a good one, too.
Me, I think plastic surgery is too much; I think it’s sad. And the sad thing is that it’s getting younger—now the girls begin younger and younger. Yeah, of course aging is not a great thing—of course it’s not—but, you know, people who do the eyes and the head stays the same…. I don’t think it’s fooling anybody, dear. It’s all in your age. What can we do? Everyone is going to pass it. You have to arrive to aging if you’re not dead before. Of course, you want to look young, but…me, I’m absolutely terrified to go and do a shot. So, I eat extremely well. I drink a lot of yerba mate, it’s a South American tea. If not, I do my ginger tea or green tea. And I drink a lot of espresso. But I eat extremely healthy. When I’m in town, every Saturday morning at a quarter before seven I leave here and I go to Union Square Farmer’s Market. I buy all my fish at the Union Square market. If I cannot go Saturday, I’ll go on Wednesday. And I freeze all my fish and I buy all the vegetables, the yogurt, and in the winter, when there’s nothing to buy, I’ll just get some roots, and I make soup. And I eat lentils and I do soup with all kinds of things that I found. And that’s it.
I don’t work out, unfortunately…but I have to begin. Yes, when I was having a breakup, I did it for one year. I have to find the right person [to train with]. I used to have a dog that I absolutely adored, and I used to walk—all day I was in the park. Really, I was obsessed by walking with my dog. But it is very boring to walk alone. I love life here, I love energy. I love to laugh. I love to have fun.”
—as told to ITG
Carlyne Cerf de Dudzeele photographed by Emily Weiss in New York on October 23rd, 2012.