A romantic vibe infused this full-on coed, gender-bending collection filled with loose garments, black flowers and veiled straw hats. It also juxtaposed fabrics, such as silk, lace, linen and leather in breezy silhouettes, and injected hues like pink into Ann Demeulemeester’s traditionally black-and-white color code.
The brand’s creative director Sébastien Munier said he had in mind symbolism, which was birthed in the 19th century when artists pushed back against the industrial revolution.
“Some dreamers, like poets, wanted to express a certain beauty, a certain decadence,” he said, citing in particular the French painter Odilon Redon, whose work was filled with symbolism, and the main character in Joris-Karl Huysmans’ book “À rebours” — a reclusive aesthete and antihero.
It was this extreme idea of beauty that Munier wanted to channel, and it entailed contrasts. Of the spring collection he said: “It is a mix of poor fabric and very rich fabric, and there is a kind of clash in between.” Take for instance the loose white shirt overlayed with a black lace top.
Striped silk, generally used for linings, peaked out from trouser legs or became the main fabric of suiting and shorts, for an inside-out effect.
Genders fused, as a male model sported a knee-length pink jacket with a floral print over a dusky pink jacket and high-colored white cotton shirt, while a female model wore a white cotton, belted shirt with a cropped black vest and white track pant-like trousers.
Some suits looked like pajamas; a blouse paired sheer fabric with lace, and a green flowy shirt topped green satin trousers. There was a lot going on here, but the collection in its parts no doubt will keep fans of Demeulemeester happy.