Ludovic de Saint Sernin A/W 2019 Paris Fashion Week Men’s

Ludovic de Saint Sernin A/W 2019 Paris Fashion Week Men’s

Mood board: The overt, glossy sexiness of the 1990s was all over Sernin’s A/W 2019 collection, like the scent of last night’s slow drag on a Marlborough Red. Tom Ford’s Gucci insolence; Helmut Lang’s perversions of cotton basics; McQueen’s inventive lowering of the waistband. The refined bondage of Hervé Léger. This was the essence replayed on athletic bodies fit for a new gender-fluid age. Sernin has nurtured such frankness since launching his debut in 2017 after a stint working at Balmain. His appeal is that his work seems to beg for a return to a more corporeal time. The collection had a halcyon brutality. The sculpted line of corseted trousers cinched the waist. There were nipped-in jackets, low-cut trousers, faux astrakhan jeans. White, turquoise and black silk shirting had no buttons and billowed over bare chests. A sheer fabric wrapped around a bicep. A taut naked thigh ran up into a Swarovski crystal lace-up brief. An asymmetric white singlet scooped under the nipple.

Scene setting: The staging was reminiscent of a reductivist cabaret. A huge spotlight lingered over the models as they walked out to snippets of interviews with Naomi, Kate, Nadja et al. Recorded during the start of their now legendary careers, the icons revealed their youthful insecurities. Charming soundbites of innocence now lost in a hi-definition digital age. Sleazy, slowed down mixes of Madonna’s ‘Erotica’ and ‘Nobody’s Perfect’ played. A minimal sensualism pulsated throughout the space. Crystal encrusted handkerchief tops, sheath dresses and briefs twinkled in the light.

Best in show: A dégradé of crystals was embroidered onto a nude, sheer tank. Trousers were ruched, shearling was strict and minimal in buttery caramel, which stroked bare shoulders. A white knit had a dramatic oval cutaway: it was as if the spotlight had burned a hole to reveal the chest. In reference to Yves Saint Laurent’s 1969 collaboration with the artist couple François-Xavier and Claude Lalanne, Sernin cast parts of the male body and reproduced them in ceramic. They were wrapped around high-waist trousers. Or left to dangle around the neck. §

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