Sébastien Meunier delivered all the signature trends for spring/summer 2017: untethered tailoring, utilitarian fastenings, corset belts and off-shoulder shirts. But, the usual Demeulemeester melancholic and monochromatic styles were present as ever. It was gothic Romanticism (tailcoats, waistcoats, work boots) with an injection of punk (satin stripes, slogans and skin-skimming mesh). Two alter egos were present this season: the controlled and classic 19th century Englishman (sometimes stripped down to his smock) versus fantastical Renaissance pirates. See which pop-culture characters we could see rocking the label’s latest collection:

Adam Ant as himself

On top of the typical Demeulemeester codes was a bohemian sprinkling of beading, feathers and fringing. Models wore strings of glass beads slung around their necks, wispy tendrils of ribbon hanging from their belt loops and feather earrings grazing their shoulders. This same eclectic look was sported by the singer Adam Ant in the post-punk 1970s and 1980s. With feathers plaited into his hair and a Napoleonic inspired style, we can see the similarities – hold your breath for white face stripes for autumn/winter 2017.

Mr. Darcy from Pride & Prejudice

Meunier’s floating collars look like ruffs from afar. Combined with the label’s old-fashioned three-piece suit, we could see the conservative Mr. Darcy wearing something similar. Darcy’s stiff upper lip suits a structured wool frock coat but the Ann Demeulemeester models pulled off this fluid silk version with a lot more attitude.

TLC as themselves

A slightly more street look for Ann Demeulemeester this season. So street we can see 1990s R&B girl band TLC wearing this exact outfit. Satin and organza are swapped for gauzy cotton but the addition of the utilitarian belt over these low-slung trousers bears a striking resemblance to the band’s outfits at the Grammy Awards in 1996. This look has us thinking that the designer might have been seeking inspiration from elsewhere this season – a leopard really can change its spots!

Captain Vallo from The Crimson Pirate

Serving the other side of the Demeulemeester ego is the punky pirate look. Satin stripes in scarlet red and purple were present in the spring/summer 2017 line. These low-rise trousers in a red and black stripe are the perfect uniform for a swashbuckling pirate. We can see Captain Vallo wearing these on deck, swiping his sword while he terrorizes naval ships in the Caribbean.

The Artful Dodger from Oliver!

Poetic Victoriana had a Dickensian edge this season. The leather workwear boots well-loved by the label had an upgrade – kind of. These classic shoes came without a tongue and were cut out at the back to reveal a bare heel. When paired with the raw edges of cropped suit trousers we were reminded of a certain young ruffian: the Artful Dodger from the musical adaptation of Charles Dickens’ Oliver Twist. But despite their slightly disheveled appearance, you’d have to "pick a pocket or two" to invest in these babies.

Text by Abigail Southan

 

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