For the latest installment in our Q&A series Before The Trend, yoHipster speaks with clothing designer Christian L’Enfant Roi. Recently displaying a collection in Denmark for the first time, Roi’s 2013 Autumn/Winter collection has received much praise for his dedicated approach toward men’s fashion. The A/W 13 collection highlights Roi’s ability to create a forward-thinking bespoke wardrobe that is still manageable and wearable. While this is the first collection displayed in Denmark Roi has already presented five previous collections; each an extension of the former. Roi’s A/W 13 collection continues a theme of taking inspiration from folklore across the globe. Preview Christian L’Enfant Roi’s A/W 13 collection in the gallery above and read our Q&A with the gifted designer below. Click here to view all of Roi’s previous collections.
YH: Can you describe the inspiration derived from the myths and folklore you’ve used for your 2013 Autumn/Winter?
CLR: This collection draws from works by French “Naive” painter Henri Rousseaux. He himself had never been to Africa yet depicts African themes so vividly. Inspired by this process, I wanted to create an African collection without resorting to literal interpretation. Also inspired from his work is the film “Kirikou et la Sorciere”. This film is centered around a West-African folk tale about a child who saves his village from what appears to be an evil sorceress. By exploring the different colors and textures from these works, which represent the jungle, animals, and people of these regions A/W 2013 transports the “Enfant Roi” to Africa without even leaving ones’ home.
YH: For your previous collections you have taken inspirations from different myths and folklore, will this be a continuing theme for collections to come? If so, what other regions or cultures would you like to explore?
CLR: Folklore and myths have always been a focal point of my creative path. This theme will probably branch out from traditional folklore, but there will always be something attractive about ancient ways of seeing the world. I would love to explore some Native American themes for a spring collection, perhaps Inuit or Sami for a fall collection. Often though, what starts as one concept, often takes me further to something not directly related to the initial theme. The blueprint to inspiration is a rather hard one to predict.
YH: This A/W 13 is your sixth presentation, what has been the feedback you’ve been receiving?
CLR: This past season was my first presentation in Denmark, but as mentioned it is my sixth presentation. I have been told it is very evident that I wasn’t a first-timer. The collection showed experience and cohesiveness which is something one must learn, as this comes with trial and error and of course time. And of course, I was told, I definitely have a different approach to menswear; a unique personal style that can be coined somewhere between “street” and “chic”.
YH: Where would you like to expand the direction of your collections?
CLR: I believe every collection is an extension or logical suite to the previous collection. It has to evolve but yet remains true to my aesthetic. I would love to collaborate to create more accessories such as jewelery, hats and accessories. Henceforth, I will continue exploring different techniques and silhouettes to try and mold the modern males’ wardrobe into something forward thinking and more “outside the box”.