Fashion: Ludovic de Saint Sernin, the obsession with the male body


A rising figure among designers, he has just been appointed artistic director of Ann Demeulemeester, with a first women’s ready-to-wear show on March 4. Meanwhile, it’s in Paris where he will present his show next Sunday at the end of men’s fashion week winter 2023-2024. One of the most anticipated events of the week, as the name of Ludovic de Saint Sernin is a style that cannot be reduced to a certain aesthetic: it speaks of desire. A former Balmain intern, who reached the semi-finals of the LVMH prize, LDSS has turned the modesty of feelings into pure carnal appearance, and sometimes into clever trompe-l’oeil: rock-toned, fully hand-ripped jeans , embroidered with diaphanous pearls that evoke drops of sweat, curtains that seem tattooed on the skin.

The native of Belgium welcomes us to his Parisian apartment, which was his first creative studio. A photo by Willy Vanderperre runs the minimalist corridor. White linen curtains and covers, a few books, including Paul Jasmin’s (California Dreamings), three homoerotic photos scattered here and there… The living room is almost bare, but every square centimeter seems to tell the story. “The most important thing is that the person feels embraced by what they wear. A beautiful piece is a hug”, explains the designer.

“My collections are newspapers”

This family man grew up in Ivory Coast. Arriving in France at the age of 8, raised near Passy by an official of the European Commission and an employee of the National Assembly, Ludovic de Saint Sernin, 32 years old, 1.86 cm – and red hair for a month -, assures you: “My collections are journals where I write my thoughts. » He who evolved “in an aristocratic and heterosexual environment” he said he had found himself in fashion: “First I went to a slum at the École Duperré, then I discovered the district of the Republic, personalities that inspired me, like Rick Owens, and especially Azzedine Alaïa: I liked so much the way he highlighted his legs, the waist, the hips. . »

Instead of dressing a woman’s man, I wanted to offer something that frees him a little from the standards, the suit, the shirt, the black evening trousers.

LDSS claims to have no prescriptions, only obsessions: highlight the male body, remember ” that makes her beautiful”. “Instead of dressing a woman’s man, I wanted to offer something that frees him a little from the standards, the suit, the shirt, the black evening trousers. » Influencer creator, he is his own model, as perfectionist as he is rich in contradictions. “You can reduce this approach to narcissism, but I simply try to talk to people I don’t know as well as I do by sharing everything, interacting with them. Instagram allowed me to not feel alone anymore, this digital bubble even everything encouraged and protected me.”

Shake the codes

It is today, when he is most exposed, that he receives violent messages. Her appearances disturb, intrigue (like the one at the Opera in 2021) and seduce as much as her creations: her-and-him transparencies, eyelet leather briefs, one-shoulder T-shirts, ventilation games and laces to reveal while getting dressed. He may wear a size 44, but since 2018 he has been building a story that gently upsets the codes of masculinity, like that of femininity. “I’ve never used the “genderless” as a marketing tool. By giving up labels in the name of the principles of “non-binary”, some simply create another category in a sometimes fanatical way. » He prefers to express himself differently, without any particular message other than that of sensation, of freedom: “Dreaming in life, life in the dream. »

I never used “non-gender” as a marketing tool

The summer 2023 collection was called “Mirage”. The one for the winter of 2023, presented on January 22, will be titled “Private Show”a tribute to the boy he was, consuming fashion through Fashion TV and magazines: “Living in the moment and making today’s teenagers dream, it may seem gnan-gnan, is talking to your young self, finding a joyful and naive spirit, and perhaps also a form of carelessness. I just thought about having fun and looking good. Putting on a show is like celebrating a big birthday with the people you love. »

At a time when the responsibilities are increasingly important (four shows in 2023 instead of two), the reality is there, on the edge and present. “I am lucky to work with those who have made me dream. » In particular Piergiorgio Del Moro for the casting, Lucien Pagès for the communication, Guido Paulo for the hair. On his Instagram account, Ludovic de Saint Sernin addresses his community as a single person.“This show is dedicated to everyone who grew up loving fashion and dreaming of fashion, this is for you from the bottom of my heart and with all my love. »

Source : Le JDD

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