09/2020 Twenty Years of Serge Lutens

Back to the roots

Serge Lutens was born during the war on March 14,1942 in Lille, in northern France.
Here‘s a very personal look at his personality, life and career: 


I must be about 10 years old. During a big tidy up, I discover that dress, laid out against the sky blue background of the bedspread, its padded shoulders on a hanger. It’s really just a dress, one that women used to wear during the German Occupation. It’s made of black crepe Georgette (my mother’s middle name) and I have seen it before. It’s the one my mother wore for the fi rst three years after I was born.

The woman who wore it is standing beside me but, this time, she is no longer my mother; she is a woman whose judgement is unimpaired and who has turned her back on appearances and renounced anything that might make her look more attractive. Some images stay with you for good. They never leave.

They’re indelibly printed on our internal walls.


BLACK: It protected and shaped me. Armour, determination or mask, black has always been a part of me. Black is also the colour of pride. It is different from taste. It’s a need, a frame, something unfinished. It has a hold on me. We see most clearly when we’re in the blackest dark.

JAPAN: No country or book, music, encounter, more than another, more than Japan, Morocco, Paris, than Bach or Genet, has transformed me. I am fascinated with all things Japanese, especially their obses-sion with perfection.

BEAUTY: Beauty is what I‘am always looking for. In fact, I couldn‘t live without it. Freeing oneself from shame and rising to attain beauty through the courage that is opposition.

WOMAN: Back in my school days I was surrounded by women and very rarely by men: It‘s because I love women‘s company. I love their conversations, I love their spirit, and intelligence. I love the way they think, I laugh more with women, than I do with men. I love making them look beautiful. They all had an artistic temperament.


It was in 1968, when I go to Morocco, it was cloudy and freezing and it was around the time of my birthday. I took a road at random, and that road took me to an area of low mountains, and where I arrived the clouds were just parting, and the light, the brightness was almost audible. It was incredible.

Morocco is the inspiration. It is a phenomenon that still has difficulty explaining. Maybe it‘s a question of getting back to my origins. My grandfather carried out a genealogical study and discovered that we had Hispanic roots. Which is not too surprising for a family originally from Flanders. The name Lutens is Basque in origin, believe it or not. As a child, I had frizzy hair before I developed this obsession with straightening and smoothing it.


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