Ann Demeulemeester’s symbolist romance
Nothing very gender specific in a notably romantic co-ed show by the house of Ann Demeulemeester, an nostalgic collection that captured the contemporary yearning for a little more poetry in our lives.
The clothes were almost interchangeable between the guys and the gals in this collection, very much in keeping with the poetic rocker DNA of this Belgian house.
The gents appeared in lace shirts and gloves; cut-off petticoats; ladylike woven leather sandals; girly white cotton blouses and bloomers; the ladies wearing similar gear. Half the cast sported battered leather and straw hats worthy of a peasant in a Van Gogh oil painting. Above all, some superbly cut linen planters coats and dusters in dusty pink jacquards and ecru. Plenty of good merchandise in other words; and all inspired by the late 19th century symbolist painter Odilon Redon, whose paintings phantasmagorical dream-like qualities were echoed in the clothes.
“Odilon came from moment a when people were beginning to doubt the need for constant progress. When people wanted to pause and dream more. That’s what I wanted to suggest,” said the house’s creative director Sébastien Meunier, who took over the design helm after founder Ann retired in 2013.
That need for dreams also apparent in an inspired soundtrack by Frederic Sanchez: four versions by, respectively, Marianne Faithful, Loreena McKennitt, Elizabeth Fraser and Joan Baez, of that great Irish romantic lament, She Moved Through the Fair. A moment of grace among an intensely busy day of traffic jams, multiple events and parties.
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