For fall, Sébastien Meunier took his audience on a trot through the ages with an eclectic mix of outfits, all clearly stamped with the house’s style. Long sleeves everywhere: on shirts, on jackets, both on and off the shoulders. Straps and cords flung in all directions, employed to either augment or dampen movement, and sometimes a bit of both. A hanging, unfastened belt offered a new take on accessories.
It felt like a glimpse into someone’s fantasies, with wild and sensual ideas — the kind that are normally tucked away from the scrutiny of the outside world — allowed to run freely.
From the deep past — probably even before trappers roamed the West — Meunier dug up a hulking, shearling overcoat, jet black on the outside, that stretched to the ground. It was worn bared open to reveal the skewed brown buttons on a black vest.
White blouses hailed from all times, including the days of pirates, but plenty virile enough to dismiss any reference to Prince in the Eighties or the ridiculed Seinfeld version from the Nineties.
It wasn’t all goth and grunge, even if the combat boots were nearly knee-high. Building on the label’s dreamier sides, so prevalent in the last season’s collection, were flashes of a pastel palette: a pink, satin dress paired with a plum top for the women, and a lavender coat worn over a lighter hue for a silky blouse for the men. A light blue satin shirt was worn under a gray vest and gray trousers.
The exposed-nipples trick moved into new territory, fully revealed by a nude colored see-through top. Long, loose sleeves were attached, in striped green and black, creating a trompe-l’oeil effect and a message: this shirt was tossed off the shoulders and it’s coming right off.
Meunier, who took over from the label’s founder and namesake Ann Demeulemeester in 2013, conveyed a world fraught with tension — a reflection of the times, no doubt — but navigated it with fresh confidence that suggests he has entered a comfort zone.