Halfway through Ann Demeulemeester’s ethereal show, Patti Smith began to read a poem live backstage over dreamy music. For anybody who has followed Demeulemeester over her two-decade career (she was celebrating her anniversary with this show), the performance left little doubt of the link between the androgynous, tailored looks on the runway and the Belgian designer’s longtime muse. As much as Demeulemeester has evolved in her career, she’s also remained startlingly true to her rock-inspired aesthetic.
This time, it was tempered with what she termed an ode to “poets and writers.” That meant masculine coats softened with draping details in back and vests with superposed patterns of stripes. Lacy leggings, billowing blouses, a black sculptural floor-sweeping dress and vests made of strands of pearls gave the right dose of delicacy to Demeulemeester’s celebration of her deep-rooted style.