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30th April 2016 / Style

Fashion Heroes: Carlyne Cerf de Dudzelee

Here’s the thing, when you flip through fashion glossies and see models being styled with an intelligent mix of high-low fashion pieces or with an arm or a neck piled with accessories, there is only one name that should come to mind: Carlyne Cerf de Dudzeele.

That’s right. She is the legendary stylist who singlehandedly paved the way for others to rethink the way designer fashion is to be worn. How? With a single cover picture in 1988 for Vogue US, but that single picture, in which she mixed an haute couture Christian Lacroix top with an everyday wardrobe essential (denim), cemented Vogue’s status as not only an aspirational magazine but also relatable and in touch with what’s happening in real life.

CCD, as she is known by the fashion world, was the then-fashion editor of the style tome. Her work at the magazine over the next decade helped define the look of the iconic supermodels of the ’90s, such as Linda Evangelista, Christy Turlington, Naomi Campbell, and Claudia Schiffer.

From an early age, CCD, who grew up in St Tropez, was obsessed with fashion. Her first foray into the fashion world was as a stylist at French Elle. She moved to New York City in 1985 and became a style icon in her own right. Known for her opulent taste (her idea of a casual Friday get-up is a crisp white shirt festooned with layer after layer of gold and pearl jewellery), CCD successfully brought together Parisian chic with American-style enthusiasm. And she ties them together with a leopard-print bow.

“That single picture on the cover of VOGUE, in which she mixed an haute couture Christian Lacroix top with an everyday wardrobe essential (denim), cemented the magazine’s status as not only an aspirational magazine but also relatable and in touch with what’s happening in real life. ”

— Rohai, The Scribe