Ludovic de Saint Sernin has uploaded a slew of semi-nude photos on Instagram to broadcast himself as the new creative director of Ann Demeulemeester. Something about a rebirth, something about power, there are loads of ways to unpack why a designer might feel the need to pose erotically whenever they get a new job – like when Daniel Lee and Matthew Williams both stripped off at the beginning of their Bottega Veneta and Givenchy tenures. Photographed by Willy Vanderperre and styled by Olivier Rizzo, for de Saint Sernin, the decision seems to gesture towards the “sensuality, tension, silhouette, fluidity, [and] wildness,” that he promises to bind to the 37-year-old brand.
Of course, Olivier Rousteing, Riccardo Tisci, Tom Ford, and Yves Saint Laurent have all been known to bare their bodies – albeit more casually. Having entered into fashion consciousness in 2017, de Saint Sernin has built his brand on diamanté-encrusted underpants and rhinestone halter-necks, which might seem at odds with Demeulemeester’s boho asceticism until you see side-by-side images of their subversive corsetry, slogan vests, and rakish models. Originally one of the Antwerp Six, Demeulemeester left her namesake brand in 2013 and it has since struggled to maintain its cult-like following. Perhaps some micro-minis, shrunken mesh tops, and thongs will help to breathe new life into the label.