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Ann Demeulemeester Menswear A/W 09

Ann Demeulemeester talks backstage at Paris Menswear Fashion Week about romantic future poets bringing hope to new lands.

In  a season when even Dries Van Noten departed from his hothouse exoticism for an understated and restrained collection, it was heartening to see that Ann Demeulemeester delve deeper into her own sense of romance for a soulful and emotional fall collection. With a beautiful string score by Nick Cave and Warren Ellis (Nick’s son, Jethro walked the show) her gaslight dandies stalked the runway looking like Victorian scarecrows with their tarnished gold coats, battered top hats, riding boots and silver watch chains. Enormous shaggy knits and rabbit fur pelts hinted a link to the primeval. But it wasn’t the past but an optimistic future that Demeulemeester was actually looking forward to. Dazed Digital caught up with the designer backstage.

Dazed Digital: You always have a rich backstory for your collections. What was the story here?
Ann Demeulemeester: I called them the immigrants, the pioneers from the future. They start at Day Zero – it’s a group of poets who immigrate to a new land, who bring their culture with them and start anew. They don’t start from the past but they bring their culture with them.

DD: This collection seems even more romantic than before
AD: I guess we needed it. To give a new hope, a new dream. I think it’s my creative duty.