A heady bohemian air hung over this collection that was filled with loose silk corduroy, black flowers and tasteful flashes of skin. It was also heavy on loose robe coats and languid pajama suits fit for an artist or aristocrat who regularly rolls out of bed in time for a late lunch.
Creative director Sebastien Meunier said he was thinking about Robert Mapplethorpe and Patti Smith (a longtime friend of Demeulemeester’s, and occasional front-row guest at her shows) and the romance of their life at the Chelsea hotel.
Inside the Palais de Tokyo, Meunier captured that rich period with a lineup of models — some of them with gray hair — wearing big flower chokers, knee-high leather boots and wide black leather corset belts. The fluid, fluttery and often sheer clothing served as a foil to those hard-edged, and slightly sinister, accessories.
Wrinkled black suits were worn with untucked white shirts, some with contrasting flower embroidery. Long velvety robes and jackets were made from shiny silk corduroy the color of rust — some slashed into long panels at the back — while matching trousers sat low on hips. A white suit was made from alternating sheer and opaque stripes, while a black one was done in a delicate cotton eyelet. Other suits looked more like patterned pajamas.
The tops took on a life of their own: Silk ones slipped off the shoulder, sheer ones hinted at the bodies beneath, while white tunic styles came with black flower print. One tank top looked as if it was made from gold spiders’ webs. This portrait of the artists in their bohemian youth was sensual, beautiful and wearable. The challenge for Meunier is how to draw a younger audience into the Demeulemeester dream.