Paris Fashion Week: Ann Demeulemeester Review

A bucolic ode from Ann Demeulemeester for AW13

Right in the middle of the Place Vendôme there's a crumbling building that used to be a bank, with beautiful ruined wooden inlay pictures on the walls and plaster peeling off the pillars. It was an evocative setting for Ann Demeulemeester's AW13 show, a wistful procession of bucolic figures from times past.

To the gentle lull of an acoustic song, the first model appeared in a gossamer-light white painter's smock, drawstrings left trailing at the waist, stalwart black lace-up boots flashing out from underneath. The rest followed, in various permutations and combinations of 18th century French peasant garb, re-imagined by the queen of cranial dressing and deconstructed tailoring.


She deconstructed the revolutionary's jacket, re-imagined it in long black panels with slits to the hip. She reconstructed the peasant's blouse in a shimmering trailing cloak with ballooning sleeves. And she topped them all off with oversize bowler hats with straws of hay stuck in them - albeit straws made of metal.

It was about as rose-tinted as it gets for Ann Demeulemeester - if stark black and white could be given a metaphoric rosy hue. Even the shiny leather corset belts had an air of the horse's saddle about them, the wide-legged trousers were hitched around the waist as though they were hand-me-downs.

But Demeulemeester's girl is ultimately an urbane sophisticate and despite the rustic references and the idyllic shepherdess smocks, we were, in fact, in a bank. Wistful peasant wear it may have been, but ultimately these clothes had serious currency.

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