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Ann Demeulemeester Menswear S/S12

The Belgian designer's sandstorm and desert catwalk set the scene for a collection full of beige and brown shades and leather hats

To the sound of a brewing sandstorm and on a thin layer of desert sand, Ann D sent an army of thin and tall models down the catwalk wearing uniforms in beige and brown. We saw cropped jackets and long coats, both with tuxedo collars, and often with oversized buttons. The silhouette was long, slim and draped - as it often is at a Demeulemeester show - but what everyone noted as new was the distinct merger of fabrics.

A few leather jackets had cotton sleeves, and layered underneath jackets with sharp shoulders we glimpsed thin tulle tops in black or beige. Morning jackets in wool entered the catwalk while a few waist coats featured intricate embroideries. On top of this - quite literally - Ann had put black leather hats. There a few surprisingly heavy dark knits but other than that this was what we wanted and expected from this S/S collection. As a bonus we got a light and summery colour palette, Patti Smith vocals and a free sand storm.  

Dazed Digital: What was the idea behind the sand and the wind?
Ann Demeulemeester:
I wanted to take my boys to the desert to a land that doesn't exist, that's why there's sand everywhere!

DD: Can you trace that idea back?
Ann Demeulemeester:
Each collection starts with a dream, some that kick starts the imagination. I guess that this time it's about this non-existing land. It's a multi-cultural place - the collection mixes Western influences with Eastern and past and present with the future.

DD: How would you sum it up?
Ann Demeulemeester:
It's about freedom and poetry. The fragile boys are protected by what they wear.

DD: Can you talk us through the colours?
Ann Demeulemeester:
There's sepia sand colour and a few more neutral colours of the earth. And there's black but not really black, more a shade of the night. And then we need light so there's white as well.

DD: And the fabrics...
Ann Demeulemeester:
It's all about contrast fabrics so I mix heavy linen with silk and leather with pearls. I wanted to create a a tension between them...