Style & Grooming

Paris Men’s Fashion Week: The Looks at Ann Demeulemeester

For his A/W18 collection for the poetic house, Sébastien Meunier looks to an actual poet: William Blake

In many ways, Ann Demeulemeester is the William Blake of fashion: she’s the poet, the romantic. The Belgian designer often looked to the British poet for inspiration in fact, just like her brand’s now Creative Director Sébastien Meunier who this season referenced Songs of Innocence and of Experience – an illustrated collection of poems by Blake, published in 1789.

Something like Wanderer above the Sea of Fog by German artist Caspar David Friedrich, another Romantic, this collection began with dark overcoats before moving into clothes of lighter tones – pastel purples, yellows, blues, greens and oranges – and then, toward to the end, going back to black.

Worn with bead necklaces around the neck and cord belts around the waist, clothes were printed with illustrations from Songs of Innocence and of Experience and seemed to reference the fashion of Blake’s time, too, incorporating frock coats and military coats into the collection. There was a sensuality to it too, though, thanks to the opened shirts that made wearers look like they were in state of semi-undress, and the translucent tops.

“And Priests in black gowns, were walking their rounds, And binding with briars, my joys & desires,” reads one excerpt from Blake’s book – a perhaps apt way to surmise the show.