“The whole idea this season was I realizing I’m living my dream,” declared Ludovic de Saint Sernin. Absolutely: everything is going just dreamily right for this pioneering proponent of sexy body-display. He’s established his own brand from scratch; has gathered his own wildly keen following, many of whom were out in ranks, buffed arms bared, skinny shirts plunging on a freezing early Sunday morning; and now he’s been appointed creative director of Ann Demeulemeester.
In a way, his fall collection, Private Show, was a celebration of everything that ever inspired him. In short: everything about growing up as French Y2K baby. Which also usually means very short things, such as micro handkerchief skirts for all genders, and a very precise way of drawing attention to certain parts of the anatomy with grommets and corset lacing.
“I just thought, oh, wow, I need to stop myself for a second, and realize that this is amazing. This is a unique moment in my life, and I’ve worked my entire life to get there. I grew up watching Fashion TV, being obsessed with watching Loic Prigent and all these people doing documentaries on fashion,” he said. “And I realized now that it’s important for me to inspire the new generation, the same way I was inspired by the older generation. So this is my version of that time in the 2000s where models were drop-dead gorgeous, glamorous, confident, and we want them to be the stars of the season. We also worked in a very kind of genuine and fun way because I also grew up with like, America’s Next Top Model, and Project Runway, and all these programs shaped me as a designer.”
De Saint Sernin’s preternatural media-savviness and organizational focus have surely played into his success too. Having the Demeulemeester show to get ready in March, he said, “I I was in a rush, so it was like oh my god, it’s like a fashion competition!I Okay, I need a system that’s very clear. So I chose 10 fabrics. And I decided okay, I’m gonna go like almost when you’re a student, or you want to be a fashion designer, when it’s just one fabric you need to make like three looks with it. And so,” he smiled, “we work with the system of Vogue Runway with a grid of three looks, and they’re all solid looks in the same fabric.”
And out they came in their three-by-threes in their slinky, sexy, perfectly-fitted ways. A row of taffeta, one of denim, another of black leather, knit, crystal chain mail, and all with plenty of evidence of his LdSS logo. For all its conciseness and brevity, what De Saint Sernin does can’t be faulted on quality. Body-con done badly inevitably ends up looking trashy; his things always classily tread the line.
As for what he will do with Ann Demeulemeester’s former brand, he was tight-lipped. On paper, he’s a strange fit for a feminist brand; it will be interesting to see what starts to come out at his debut, whether in threes or not.