All of America was at home on their couches watching the Super Bowl, hoping to catch a glimpse of Taylor Swift, but you wouldn't have known it at Ludovic de Saint Sernin's New York debut. Marc Jacobs, Jenna Lyons, Inez and Vinoodh were among the crowd who came to see what the Frenchman was going to do in the United States.
Tonight's show was bigger than anything de Saint Sernin has done at home in Paris, where he has been present (mostly on the men's calendar, but occasionally on the women's calendar) since 2017; he's the poster boy for a new type of queer fashion that puts people of all genders in glittery tank tops and briefs, high-waisted jeans with eyelet flies, and sexy, form-fitting club outfits.
What brought him to New York was a collaboration with the Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation. De Saint Sernin read Patti Smith's National Book Award-winning memoir about her relationship with the revolutionary photographer, Just kids, in his twenties, and credits the book with not only his self-discovery, but also the genesis of his brand. “I identify with him both personally and artistically, so it’s kind of a pinnacle,” he said backstage.
It was important for de Saint Sernin to address the breadth of Mapplethorpe's range, from flower photography to his controversial chronicle of the gay BDSM scene. In doing so, he could adapt, starting with sheer organdy T-shirts fused with flowers and hand-cut velvet jeans, then moving on to crystal versions of the flowers of a chainmail dress. knits and some skimpy one-shoulder, backless tops. “We start the series with something very innocent, very pure and focused on Mapplethorpe's work,” he said.
From there, he moved on to a reinvention of New York office wear of the 1970s and 1980s, with leather trench coats and bombers, and eyelet leather pants worn with a white button-down shirt and bright red tie, a bit like the one the photographer wore in an iconic self-portrait. Less innocent, but more tame than the creator concluded with. “As it is a story of identity discovery, it gets darker and darker towards sex, nightlife and club life,” de Saint Sernin said. “Mapplethorpe was bold enough to share his fantasy with the world and I think that's really powerful because he helped a lot of people, including myself, to really dare and embody every part of ourselves .”
A low-cut leather apron dress framed her model's pectoral muscles, but the booty-cut leather pants and briefs were more provocative, cut to hang low in the back, exposing a few inches of crack, like a support. push-up throat. made for breasts. These last pieces recall the atmosphere of the first Saint Sernin fashion shows, where masculine expression (at least on the catwalks) was in narrower bands. It’s up to him and other rule-breakers to expand our vision. For some, there was a Super Bowl to return to; From the looks of that cleavage, we missed a fun after-party.