Fashion for forward thinking men by Ann Demmeulemeester
The Ann Demeulemeester label is one of the most prestigious in high fashion. The distinctive look and feel of the brand was founded in 1985 with Ann Demeulemeester’s first eponymous collection. The style was inspired by punk subculture and gothic design. These defining influences are still apparent in the lines that are produced by the fashion house today. The style embodies the rebellious, non conformist attitude of the Punk movement and blends these ethics with exquisite, sophisticated tailoring to create contemporary androgynous designer clothing.
As well as being synonymous with designer mens and womens wear, the Demeulemeester name is also closely linked to the iconic Antwerp Six. The Antwerp Six is the name given to a group of students who studied at the Fashion Department of Belgium’s Royal Academy of Fine Arts. The collective consisted of Walter Van Beirendonck, Dries Van Noten, Dirk Van Saene, Dirk Bikkembergs, Marina Yee and Ann Demeulemeester. In 1986 the group rented a truck and made their way to London Fashion Week to show their collections, a move that would not only bring them all individually notoriety, but also make an indelible imprint on the world of high fashion.
The Antwerp Six
Their style was avant garde and radical, they had a fresh unadulterated approach to design and this in turn helped to shake up the fashion scene and cement their names. The impact not only cemented the Antwerp Six as successful disruptors within their field but also put Antwerp on the map as a sought after centre for fashion design excellence and fashion education.
Ann Demeulemeester launched her own womens fashion line in 1985, with her first designer menswear collection being debuted in 1996. Despite interest from renowned fashion houses, Demeulemeester has maintained both financial and design independence of her brand, perhaps in line with her anti corporatism punk values. Over time the style has evolved while staying true to its roots. Luxurious fabrics and fine detailing interweave with clean silhouettes that conjure classical romanticism whilst still managing to imbue a radical edge.
The transformative outlook that helped shape her career and her controversial approach are still evident within the current style of the brand, despite Ann Demeulemeester’s decision to retire from the fashion house in 2013. The reigns have now been firmly passed to Sebastien Meunier who has been responsible for the brands menswear design since 2010. Meunier now successfully continues Demeulmeester’s illustrious legacy, whilst witholding the vision to evolve the brand into the future.