Though she may be a brooding Belgian, Ann Demeulemeester is not a one-dimensional designer. There’s a soft side to her darkness that can yield some of her most creative and breathtaking work. Her spring show, directly descended from her most recent men’s collection, was a masterful blend of poetic influences: the North African desert, the military, the American west and vintage Patti Smith. They came on melancholy beauties, nomadic yet elegant in gauzy layers, broken down tailoring and wide-brimmed, floppy leather hats.
There was ample black but some of the most stunning looks were done in ivory and blushing nudes on sheer fabrics, languidly draped and worn in combination with wide-leg pants and embroidered jackets. There were caftanlike gowns and sheer robes that dramatically swept over wide-leg pants with silk fringed tassels around the neckline and back, an effect that continued throughout whether as an accent or a statement, as in a spectacular fully fringed coat. A dose of hippie in the most graceful way.