Demeulemeester's warrior women

First we saw the feathers. A spiky crown of hair and black plumes topped every model’s head, as if Ann Demeulemeester’s design had the clarity of cut and purpose to stop even hairstyles in their tracks.

The name alone connotes dark gothic romance. In Demeulemeester’s case, that involved a quietly lavish assemblage of textures and feelings brought on by a parade of black and midnight blue looks.

This was femininity at its most powerful. Skirts and dresses—mostly long, aside from the simple cowl-back shifts—came topped with nipped-waist leather jackets. Protective funnel necks and peplums that curved over the hips left these warrior women space to move. Diagonal zips and asymmetrical button plackets furthered the body-hugging, armour-like feel.


There was softness among the steely looks. Silk dresses slipped and slithered over the body, with necklines like backward scarves or saris. Feathers reappeared in surprising guises, including, as pins securing lapels, like something collected off a forest floor.

It was fitting that the show unfurled in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower. Mr Eiffel spun steel into a lofty dream—Demeulemeester spun warrior toughness into something the most feminine dresser could desire.

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