After Ann Demeulemeester’s quiet departure from her label last November, this was the first full men’s show with the new team. They showed several men’s looks during the women’s AW14 show, but they weren’t especially strong. We saw a change here, as the aesthetic was more fully developed and Ann’s man was in some ways back.
They referenced artist’s smocks, and ‘the hand’ with beautiful hand-embroidered black floral abstractions on shoes and boots not dissimilar from the shoes in Ann’s last menswear show, and tonal corn on parkas and patchworking. Most of the layers, and there were many, were left raw-edged for a rough yet delicate effect, veering towards a romanticized grunge.
The palette was strict Demeulemeester black and white, with flashes of naturals and metallics in the embroidery. It was quiet, and respectful to the house codes, with only a touch of rebellion in the soundtrack as Brian Eno’s Passing Over declared, “All pastness gone, To the crumbled dogma-ing past, Can never be recollected.”
It was a solid collection, which will ensure the buyers and customers are kept happy. But the new designer of Ann Demeulemeester, Sébastien Meunier, who took the bow at the end, could really let loose next time.