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Moda Operandi and Ludovic de Saint Sernin Channel Robert Mapplethorpe at the Hotel Chelsea

One day after Ludovic de Saint Sernin unveiled his new collection and hosted a late night after party at the Standard, the Paris-based designer was back out on the town for round two.

On Monday night, Moda Operandi hosted an intimate cocktail for the designer at Hotel Chelsea. Guests including Nicky Hilton, Poppy Delevigne, Baltimore Ravens cornerback Daryl Worley, Chris Appleton, Young Paris, along with de Saint Sernin’s team, were on hand to congratulation the designer on his New York Fashion Week debut.

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Earlier in the evening, the retailer launched a trunk show for the collection, which includes six looks exclusive to Moda. “We really love how he’s so unabashedly sexy and fearless, and embraces this really sexy after-dark Parisian spirit,” said Moda Operandi chief merchandising officer April Hennig. “Our customer has really embraced it for the last few seasons.”

De Saint Sernin’s latest collection is a collaboration with the Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation, which offered full access to the artist’s archives. Hints of the late artist were all around Hotel Chelsea’s lobby bar, from the red rose petals sprinkled across tables to the Casamigos margaritas adorned with an anthurium flower.

“It’s exciting to have Ludovic in New York,” said Moda Operandi founder Lauren Santo Domingo, glancing around the dimly lit room. “The Mapplethorpe [connection] ties in and gives a real substance to being here — and even in this space, makes so much sense.”

Notably, Mapplethorpe once lived at the hotel, with Patti Smith as his roommate.

“That’s why we’re here. We wanted the whole experience to feel very soulful and meaningful,” said de Saint Sernin. “I read the book ‘Just Kids’ by Patti Smith, and she tells the story of how they basically moved to New York, they lived here, and they discover themselves as artists and they discover their identity here. And I thought it was so special to bring that aspect to this event tonight, because Moda’s and I relationship is so genuine, and it’s such a perfect match.”

The designer will be in New York until Wednesday, when he’ll head to the Cayman Islands for an overdue vacation. “I’m so excited. I haven’t even taken a Christmas holiday. I haven’t been on holiday for four months because I was just like: work, work, work,” he said.

With so much enthusiasm around his presence in New York this season, is it possible he’ll be back in the future for a fashion week encore?

“Honestly, not no. I’m loving it,” he said. “Paris, you know, is Paris, and they’re quite possessive. They want me to be there; I’m a Paris brand. But I have to say it’s been a very special experience and I would totally do it again.”

Launch Gallery: Poppy Delevigne and Lauren Santo Domingo Celebrate Ludovic de Saint Sernin's Fall 24 Collection with Moda Operandi

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