Ludovic de Saint Sernin cited himself as his muse for Fall-Winter 2022. The French designer cast his own reflection in a sharp collection that traces a day in his life. “It’s hard to put it in a way that doesn’t sound egotistical, but the whole idea was to create a collection that transports you into my life and it’s built around 24 hours with LdSS,” he said over the phone from his Paris apartment.
Conveying his signature sensitivity for fabrication and painstakingly consistent sensual aesthetic, the collection begins with returning home from a rave doused in glittery textures like Swarovski crystals, monogrammed denim, and swishy fabrics accentuating the torso and waist. The ensuing portion of de Saint Sernin’s day is largely punctuated with luxurious tailoring in tonal tones of brown and beige: “business meeting attire,” as he calls it, made from Loro Piana wool. As night falls, daywear is replaced by shimmering cocktail dresses in faux leather and faux crocodile, and thereafter, by transparent chiffon nightgowns.
Personal flourishes, such as vintage velvet from 1997 – the year his boyfriend was born – and single fabric ensembles, which are a staple in de Saint Sernin’s sartorial code, create intimacy and intrigue around a coveted brand by a beloved personality. “It’s a mix of what you know and some surprises as well,” he said.
How would you characterise the collection?
I looked into what I had in my wardrobe and what I felt were the most iconic pieces that I own. We started with a couple of silhouettes that I love. but we also brought in some newness. It’s quite a mix. The show is based around a timeline from coming back from a party, to getting dressed for the day, going back out for the evening. and going to bed. I liked the idea of playing with texture and transparency – what you want to hide and what you want to reveal.
Had you dreamed of becoming a fashion designer?
I never thought I was going to do anything else. My passion for drawing as a kid turned into creating fashion. I was always hoping to work for a big house one day, and then launch my own label, so it’s a dream come true to achieve this dream but also live off it. The most rewarding feeling for me is to have people contacting me through DMs or coming up to me in the street saying, “Oh my god, like, thank you so much for what you’re doing.” It’s so heartwarming. It’s the best feeling.
What do you think attracts people to the industry?
Fashion is a way of expressing yourself and discovering who you are through what you wear. When you’re growing up and developing as a teen, or later in your young adult life, or even throughout your entire life, you’re looking to build your identity and discover who you are. Fashion is an important tool in achieving your look, and understanding who you are, while also having fun, and evolving [your identity] with time and with what you’re going through.
Do you interpret your dreams?
I manifest a lot. I like daydreaming about things like hoping a girl wears LdSS one day or that I hope to work with someone great one day. I’m touching wood right now; it’s kind of crazy when you’re able to achieve things you’ve dreamed up. It’s like, oh my god, hang on a minute, am I really working with this person right now? Yes, really! These pinch-me moments are really crazy. We work a lot in advance, so when you can’t share something for months, you’re already onto the next thing and you don’t necessarily take time to appreciate every single moment. But it’s important to look at your dreams and appreciate every single moment. Manifesting and reflecting are good ways to put forward that positive energy.
When was the last time a dream came true for you?
We’re making some big changes within our creative team for the next show in terms of casting and styling. We’re working with Piergiorgio [Del Moro] for the casting and Jacob K is styling the show. It’s a dream come true for me to have these people on board who want to take part in the brand and believe in us.
Do you think fashion can help us make sense of reality, or do you think it provides an escape?
More and more, I’m trying to reconcile these two concepts for the brand. I like that my earlier collections were about escapism, surreal beauty – [something] almost unachievable because it was so perfect. It comes from looking at fashion as fantasy, and I’m a perfectionist, so I like for everything to be beyond beauty. With everything going on, if you’re putting something out in the world, it has to be beautiful. With the brand becoming bigger, you need to also have realistic options, so it’s now about making sure you have the right dose of each in everything you do; not only to make it more relatable, but to strike a balance between the two.
This interview has been lightly edited for clarity.