Everyone knows what to expect when they go to see a Demeulemeester show. The brand identity is so strong that we can almost predict the colour palette (greyscale, of course), silhouettes (draping, dramatic and heavily layered) and general aesthetic (edgy but glamorous). When it was announced Sebastien Meunier would show his first collection at SS 15 Paris Fashion Week under the Ann Demeulemeester brand, it was hoped he would continue the legacy but bring something new to the table. However, there was something a little unfinished about this collection.
All the components were there. The colour scheme was predominantly black and white, silhouettes involved relaxed tailoring through biker jackets and duster coats, sheer panels of embroidered chiffon in shades of ash and tar gave that funeral chic vibe that Demeulemeester is renowned for – it was all true to the brand. The issue was that we had seen it all before. If Miranda Priestly from the Devil Wears Prada was sat in the audience, she would have muttered, “Monochrome for Demeulemeester? Groundbreaking.”
Despite this, there were some beautiful pieces shown. A stunning asymmetric waistcoat featured black embroidered material to the left and an organic black and white print to the right was paired with a simple oversized white blouse and matching jeans for an effortlessly chic ensemble. Mis-matching trousers with contrasting print on each leg were worn with double-breasted waistcoats. Finely knit maxi dresses played to Demeulemeester’s favoured sheer aesthetic and were layered under icy white biker jackets and midi cardigans.
Nevertheless, we were all left feeling slightly underwhelmed. Sebastien Meunier had a hard job taking over a brand with such an established style and obviously has played it safe. Although this collection perhaps didn’t have the same wow-factor as previous shows, the clothing within it was very sellable.
When Meunier has settled in within the Demeulemeester brand, we will probably start to see more experimentation in the collections. Until then, we can at least take comfort in knowing the house style has not been tampered with and Ann Demeulemeester is still the queen of goth glam.