In one of the last collections before Ann Demeulemeester left her label in 2013, there were black floral prints that looked like shadows in the late afternoon sun. Seeing the first blooms of spring in the backdrop of the brand’s video felt like a fitting metaphor for this fall collection designed by an in-house team. Despite a severe black and white palette, the artfully juxtaposed layers telegraphed an impression of unbothered confidence.

The look: The OG Ann look, aka gender-fluid tailoring.

Quote of note: “My mission is to preserve the DNA — and make sure that Ann is happy in the future,” said Italian retailer Claudio Antonioli, the new owner of the brand.

Standout pieces: All of it and none of it at the same time, given how much the Demeulemeester aesthetic has become a byword for exacting yet nonchalant tailoring, served both by materials and construction: long loose shirting with cuffs worn open; tank tops that also give their shape to floor-sweeping dresses with open backs; detached sleeves with trailing ribbons; the razor-sharp jackets, vests and trousers.

Takeaway: With the founder on speed dial and her legacy front-and-center of everyone’s mind, Ann Demeulemeester’s new beginning feels timely, both in terms of the aesthetic itself and in a moment where brands across the board are doubling down on their own identity.

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