Demeulemeester lets the light in, talking colour to Dazed Digital...
Known for her poetic silhouettes and love of the darker side of nature, this season Ann Demeulemeester maintained her ideals, but brought in something new: colour. While the show was set in an her regular location, an 18th century church, with smoke circling the runway lights, it was undoubtedly a brighter season for the designer. Shawl-like collars were worked into suit jacket lapels, layers after layers of silks were placed under tailoring and trousers were wide, with velvets, crepes and jacquards running throughout the collection. It was a confident show and one aimed at a confident man, but then who wouldn't be dressed in Demeulemeester? Dazed Digital caught up with the Antwerp-based designer after the show to discuss her new form and whether or not this would be one we'll see again...
Dazed Digital: What led you into the use of colour this season?
Ann Demeulemeester: I started using colour in this collection simply because I wanted to somehow prove that colour can fit into my world too. My boy hasn't changed, it is still the Ann Demeulmeester man who intrigues me, but I think the colours were really important in me discovering a different path.
DD: Was it difficult to move in that direction?
Ann Demeulemeester: I liked it a lot and I felt quite free to work with them. I think the light and the dark blend in perfect harmony. Orange can be dark too in a way. It was just about finding a way to do it my aesthetic and then, it could work. I love to find all these sophisticated, strange tones together. It could clash and it would still be beautiful.
DD: Do you think this is a new mood for you? Will you be going in that direction again?
Ann Demeulemeester: I felt very comfortable doing this. Every collection is a new step and each time I have to surprise myself too.
DD: You also used a lot of prints and jacquards throughout the collection?
Ann Demeulemeester: They were chosen in a kind of free way too, as were the colours. It could be a motif that is remembered from the past but is projected into the future. It is always a kind of culture in the back of my head and then it just comes out in an uncontrolled way. It looks kind of strange to have an 18th century flower in a contemporary collection, but it brings so much emotion to the character.
DD: You also brought in some new materials for your palette, including velvet...
Ann Demeulemeester: Yes, the velvet was a really special fabric that is made in two directions. One is dyed in one colour, the other in another colour and when the light hits it you really can't quite work out what is happening. That was really interesting for me to work with.
DD: What made you want to try out these new directions this season?
Ann Demeulemeester: We started immediately with colour, right at the beginning. That was my starting point. It was like letting colour into my world and then working out how we are going to deal with it. I just knew I wanted it to be beautiful, sophisticated and poetic.