“Shine the Light” read the small boxes handed to guests as they entered Ann Demeulemeester’s spring show. They contained small flashlights, which were to be aimed at the models as they strode down the large hall of Couvent des Cordeliers. The bright burn of all those beams on all-white outfits had a luminous, dipped-in-paint effect that at times suggested something disquieting underneath.
Several tops appeared to have slings built in, while others had padding like that of a goalie, confirming a sense of injury (psychological or physical, take your pick). There were also maitre d’ buttoned jackets with ruching down the spine, low corsets the width of obi belts and white wellie boots.
Then came a pause, followed by something remarkable: each look was re-presented in all black. It felt much less clinical and sinister, and much more Ann. Let’s hear it for the dark side.