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Ann Demeulemeester Womenswear A/W12

Demeulemeester reasserts her architectural vision for the new season

It seems strange that a designer of Ann Demeulemeester’s stature, who has garnered such a hardcore fan base over the years would want to re-assert what her design philosophy is all about at this point. We all know that she can design a jacket of disturbingly beautiful proportions or she can swathe a woman in a bias cut inky dress. These are givens but where in the past, tricked out styling and forays into print, ethnic or colour oeuvres, might have distracted us ever so slightly from Demeulemeester’s steadfast devotion to construction, this show made it clear that she can strip it back and let her lines do all the talking.

In the end, I didn’t need any decoration or colour because all the work was done in the shape and that is my real work

These lines came straight in the form of black jersey dresses, revealing parts of the body in mysterious ways. They also came curved in the gathered satin skirts and the dramatic peplums in the outerwear. There was a richness and warmth to the collection, injected by the use of an inky blue that veered between black and blue, depending on the light. "That wasn’t colour. It was like the night," she said. It may have been nighttime, but we definitely felt like a light was being shone on Demeuelemeester’s strengths as an unwavering force in fashion.

Dazed Digital: What was the starting point of this collection?
Ann Demeulemeester: I wanted to go more into construction, shape and architecture. Those were the three starting points. Compared to the menswear, the woman here was more intriguing and mysterious and chic in a good sense of the word.

DD: In what way did you explore contruction?
Ann Demeulemeester: I wanted to cut a real tailleur – it was all about the new shapes for me. I wanted to work with curves and straight lines and openings that appeared at certain parts of the body. In the end, I didn’t need any decoration or colour because all the work was done in the shape and that is my real work. These clothes aren’t just designed for the sake of it – they’re really there to be worn.

DD: What prompted this desire to concentrate on shape?
Ann Demeulemeester:
Because it’s the focus of my work. It’s always been! I wanted to say to people "Look! This is what I do!" That the design and the creation are in the shapes. I thought if I didn’t do any decoration in print or colour, then people would focus on my work.