ANN´S NEW RULES
When she left her eponymous label in 2013, Ann Demeulemeester sought to separate her personal life from her gothic inspired Belgian label. And, after a brief sabbatical from a dedicated menswear show in autumn/winter´14, the brand came back with a vengeance.
The BVBA32 ran labels new head of design, Designer Sebastien Meunier spoke about his elation of the ´new birth´ of Ann Demeulemeester menswear. The characteristic angst-ridden poet was replaced by a skinny rocker who was still a sensitive soul, but with a tough edged disposition. However, many key hallmarks of the design house were still there and customary layering still played a big part in its ensembles. Thinner items like shirts and long coats worked well together with thicker items such as impeccably tailored jackets so there was a lot to visually dissect sometimes. The range also saw embroidered and panelled jackets that were sublimely paired with relaxed trousers as well as the trademark deconstruction on the ends of the garments which confidently announced the new era of the Demeulemeester man.
“The pastel tones and prints really match the arts & crafts movement” Sebastien Meunier told press after his first menswear show at the Couvent des Cordelierson.”I love the atmosphere here; it goes really well with the mood I was wanting to create.” – Sebastien Meunier
´Sophomore´ and ´Byronesque´ were some of the resemblances that the clothing evoked. Meunier´s new man was one with a harder, more grounded edge. Turning away from the traditional profile of soft, layered knitwear, these urban uniforms were more about exact tailoring in a slimmer, more disciplined silhouette. Layered with signature shirts and waistcoats, the outerwear came in an assortment of lengths and featured removable panelled attachments. There were bold, progressive darts of colour which added depth to the demure line-up with their burnt umber, bottle green and deep red contributions. The co-ordinating footwear and outerwear details brought a welcome visual relief to the final result. Although it wasn´t a melee of colours, it brought a delicate and almost romantic contrast to the darker delineations, providing an allure and balance.
Despite being criticised last year for a lack of imagination, Meunier´s most recent installment proved that the infamous label can still put together a highly original and cutting-edge collection. The veritable artisans of past took several years to earn their acclaim and there is no doubt from this recent offering that Meunier will do so also, given more time.
Article: Charles Daniel McDonald
Photography: Ann Demeulemeester / BVBA32