The first collection of Christian L’Enfant Roi‘s I saw was his Spring/Summer 2011. It was October 2010, and the panic of another winter in Montreal, Christian’s native land, was settling in. Winter’s are long in Montreal—from October, you can expect another five months of the season—and Christian’s Spring/Summer showing was a reminder that, in our foreseeable future, socks will be optional again; also, that great talent is incubated in Montreal, perhaps even due to the long, holed-up winter months.
For Fall/Winter 2012, Christian found inspiration in the Great North. The collection, he says, “translates the cold, ice, and wind of this region into the textiles and textures; transposing ‘L’Enfant Roi’ into the the context of an indigenous people.”
The Montreal boy recently moved further north still—Christian is currently residing in Copenhagen, and that’s where he answered these questions from:
How would you describe your approach to fashion and design?
I try to expose myself to as much visual stimulation as possible. Here I am weeding out elements that can serve as inspiration, however random they might appear at first. Out of this sensory approach to explore the world, a common theme usually appears for that specific season and I try to regurgitate all the things I have absorbed so that I can move on to something else. It’s important for me to stay true to my aesthetic, which is wearable, with splashes of surprising elements. I think menswear is so fascinating because there’ s a constant interactive dialogue between art and wearability. The beauty of design lies in such elements that invite the modern man to explore new silhouettes in his wardrobe.
What does “L’Enfant Roi” signify?
L’Enfant Roi has become more than a tongue-in-cheek way of describing my generation of spoiled brats. My clients relate to it on different levels because it has a certain arrogant feeling but can also be more of a statement about being in charge of one’s appearance. Furthermore, it promotes a certain pride or righteousness towards our perceptive look. Of course, most of my clients are part of this generation of know-it-alls who demand instant gratification for all their vices including fashion.
Your Fall/Winter lookbook is very chilly. What’s it like making clothes in Northern climates like Montreal and Copenhagen?
Fall/Winter is my favorite season and I think that is due to living in a cold climate most of the year. It opens up so many possibilities of shapes and textures. Whereas Southern cities become more about tan lines, in winter, you have no choice but to represent personal aesthetic through layers of clothing whose original purpose would be to keep you warm.
Do you have a second vocation? If you weren’t designing clothes, what would you be doing?
I believe I would probably become a trapper or avid fisherman with a fascination of the occult and botanical.
Is there a question you always want to be ask but haven’t been yet?
You judge a person by the questions they ask.