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Christian L’enfant Roi

Author: Pol Valero

Section: SHOW

Date: 10.2013

 

In DressLab we like to discover new fashion talents. Christian L’enfant Roi has been one of them. From his office, the designer gives us an exclusive interview where he tells us how and why he formed his menswear line characterized both by its characteristic pattern as the use of materials.

 

 

Why did you decide to launch your own brand?
After a three year stint as a assistant designer in Womenswear, I realised my perspective would be best translated into menswear. I wanted to create clothing for a specific type of boy/man by placing them in a unique environment, be it Northern Canada or West Africa. As a product of my younger generation, I also felt a strong urge to be my own boss. Next to this, I wanted to make sure that my personal aesthetic was not exploited and that it claimed its own place in contemporary male wardrobes.

Of the seven collections, which is your favourite?
As I am very critical of my own work: the “practice makes perfect” motto applies here. It is not that perfection is the ultimate goal, but I use it more in a “trading” way of seeing the world. Each season seems more comfortable and closer to “a goal” but I do have a special love for Fall/Winter collections.
My aesthetic is often translated best in a cooler environment, therefore winter collections tend to be closest to my heart. This said, a lot of my clients prefer actually prefer my summer collections as they tend to be more whimsical and perhaps a little more wearable. To give a more definitive answer; FW13 I am particularly proud of from head to toe. The universe I wanted to create worked magically. That to me is the biggest reward.

 

Christian L'enfant Roi l DRESSLAB

Christian L'enfant Roi l DRESSLAB

Christian L'enfant Roi l DRESSLAB

Christian L'enfant Roi l DRESSLAB

Christian L'enfant Roi l DRESSLAB

Christian L'enfant Roi l DRESSLAB

 

What type of man wears Christian L’Enfant Roi?
We lovingly describe “L’enfant roi” as a generation ”Y” spoiled brat. Someone who is educated about fashion but puts elegance before trends. Obviously my client is ready to re-invent his wardrobe whilst maintaining a certain comfort and selecting the highest quality garments and fabrics. A subdued peacock.

How would you define your brand style?
Well, I like to describe it as utilitarian bespoke lounge wear. I am just as much about colors and prints as much as I am about basics with a twist. Upon first glance it seems highly styled but once deconstructed there a definitely wearable individual pieces. My collections embrace the juxtaposition of the universe I create with how men would actually dress. Therefore, my aesthetic relies heavily on my client or the man that wears it. I dress men that “are” the brand/style. Men aren’t looking to adopt a style by wearing my garments but rather trust Christian L’Enfant Roi to reconsider a more modern male wardrobe within their personalities.

How did you get started in the fashion world?
I fell into fashion by following a certain natural path. As I was studying Arts when I started dabbling in fashion, the transition was easily made. As a child I was never the one drawing dresses or sewing miniature garments for my sisters dolls. However, I always felt fascinated by shapes and colors. I had a strong eye and a need to create without borders. I quickly realised I made a better designer then an artist. The process of creating garments came naturally. The rest seemed to fall into place. So, In a way, LEGO brought me to fashion.

 

Christian L'enfant Roi l DRESSLAB

Christian L'enfant Roi l DRESSLAB

Christian L'enfant Roi l DRESSLAB

 

What inspires you when creating a collection?
I try to create a universe in which “L’enfant Roi” can exist. The concept of dropping him in a other world and translating how he would look. Be it in West Africa during the 50′ or the Great Canadian North, as a character in a novel or a mythical creature. Drawn to other cultures and traditions or customers, I want to travel with my client into different settings, whilst still retaining a certain hand-crafted or traditional approach to making and wearing clothes.

Where you like to get in the future (talking about fashion industry)?
Not unlike my path into fashion, things seem to be happening naturally. The industry is responding positively to my aesthetic. We have new sales points in Japan, America and Europe for the upcoming SS14 collection. And at the moment, we are working on building a larger distribution around the world as well as keep our private appointments in our studios in Montreal Canada.
Next to this, I personally would like to have a meaningful runway show in either Paris or New York!

And finally we can you describe us in one word: Christian L’enfant Roi?
Eloquence

 

+ info_ Christian L’enfant Roi

Text_ Pol Valero
Images courtesy of Marlo Saalmink Agency

 

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