For Ann Demeulemeester’s spring collection, replete with a nautical theme, Sébastien Meunier explained backstage after the show: “The idea was to speak about the port of Antwerp, the dockers, sailors, fishermen. But it’s also ‘Querelle,’ from [Rainer Werner] Fassbinder.” The creative director was making reference to the leading character, a Belgian sailor, who stars in the movie of the same name. “There’s always a sexual tension in his movies,” said Meunier, of the filmmaker.
Gleaning inspiration, as well, from the port of Amsterdam and the North Sea, Meunier presented a redefined, modern, youthful take on male sensuality, which in no way jarred with the Ann Demeulemeester brand heritage.
This collection was all about construction, deconstruction and layering, the reimagining of heritage garments in a light, new way. A traditional captain’s trench had its front and back attached at the shoulders, which could be worn in parts or as a whole. “That’s a bit the story of all the garments,” said Meunier. “Everything can be taken off — the collars, cuffs — you can button things differently. So it’s a bit like dress and undress also.”
Wide linen trousers came with high waists and buttons, cropped sailor pants featured deep cuffs, while silk shirts and pants were made to billow like cotton. Adding a sexiness to the traditional sailor shirt were zigzagging drawstrings laced over buttons and an oversized proportion worn by men and women.
Meunier kept largely to the label’s traditional black-and-white color codes, with yellow, cobalt and red thrown into the mix. An excerpt from Shakespeare’s “Richard III” was played and the catwalk was shrouded in a billowing fog, transporting the viewer even deeper into the Ann Demeulemeester universe of today.