Ludovic de Saint Sernin makes creative debut with Ann Demeulemeester at PFW
During Paris Fashion Week, it was Ludovic de Saint Sernin’s debut as the creative director of Ann Demeulemeester that garnered the most discussion this past weekend. With a collection based on self-reference above all else, de Saint Sernin pulled off a high-stakes debut that had many eagerly watching in anticipation.
The Parisian designer’s takeover was intensely watched due to the reverence Ann Demeulemeester holds with those in the know. With nearly four decades as the namesake of her brand, Demeulemeester is a revered member of the Antwerp Six and an adored designer the world over. After her departure from her eponymous brand in 2013, she wrote handwritten letters to her team and members of the press, a touching gesture that led de Saint Sernin to dedicate his show to her long and lasting legacy.
The collection itself comprises 36 looks that explore the archives of the Ann Demeulemeester brand, bringing them into the modern day with de Saint Sernin’s staple gender-fluid presentation. They are elegant and glamorous in typical Demeulemeester fashion, but possess a flair for sensuality that ties the two designers’ legacies together quite beautifully.
The collection comes equipped with references a plenty. One of the prime examples of this comes in the form of several models walking with their hands clasped against their breasts. It is an ingenious callback to the brand’s AW95 show. The models partaking in this action wore varying types of garments, ranging from satin and leather to large faux-fur statement pieces.
With a need to meet a standard of commercialism in this new role that he might not yet have confronted with his own brand, de Saint Sernin was limited in his ability to explore the depths that the fashion industry has grown to expect of him. It presented him a delicate line to tread that led him to rely on this self-reference within the brand’s catalogue. This, however, did not come at the expense of some truly well-crafted pieces.
He embraced the signature tailored suits with sleeves extending past the palms that Demeulemeester is best known for, but the pairing of these looks with bare chests and androgynous styling allowed his identity as a designer to peek through.
This debut was one that fans of Ann Demeulemeester were awaiting. de Saint Sernin’s embrace of this beloved brand’s legacy made it a celebratory way to cap off PFW.
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Thomas Publow is a contributor at Glossi Mag. Currently finishing his degree in journalism from Toronto Metropolitan University, Thomas considers himself an expert in all things VMAs and Beyoncé.