Guests arriving at the Ann Demeulemeester show venue were greeted by garlands of colored lights that brought to mind guinguettes, the riverside cafés on the outskirts of Paris where Impressionist painters rubbed shoulders with the working classes.
The 19th century — and its high-collared shirts and cutaway coats — informed the Belgian designer’s spring collection, which took the formal out of tailoring by piling on patterned fabrics that referenced everything from seersucker and workwear to mattress ticking and upholstery.
Black flocked velvet flowers crept over satin blazers and blue-and-white striped denim suits alike. Thick black stripes on a white redingote turned out to be velvet ribbons, which appeared throughout the collection, curling around a raised collar or trailing from buttonholes.
The layered silhouette had a casual flourish, though modern-era dandys might want to wear these decorative clothes one elegant piece at a time.