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Ann Demeulemeester

About Ann Demeulemeester

Born in Waregem, Belgium in 1959, Ann Demeulemeester attended the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp. Around the time she was in school (1978-1981), she became part of an avant-garde troop of would-be influential fashion designers known as the Antwerp Six, which, in addition to Demeulemeester, includes Dries van Noten and Dirk Bikkembergs. This group worked closely together throughout the ‘80s and had their big break when they rented a van and drove it to London sometime near the end of the decade to show off their respective collections.

In 1992, Demeulemeester debuted in Paris, and in 1996, premiered her first men’s line during her women’s show at Paris Fashion Week. In 1999, a decade after her breakthrough in London, she opened her Ann Demeulemeester store in Antwerp and debuted in North America at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Over the next few years, Demeulemeester continued her craft, exhibiting at least once a year until 2008. By that point, there were four Ann Demeulemeester stores (Antwerp, Tokyo, Hong Kong and Seoul), and besides continuing with women’s fashion, Demeulemeester also had her first men’s show and premiered her jewellery collection. But that’s where her website ends. The rumours are that she is currently working on a clothing line inspired by the famous painter Jackson Pollock, but that remains unconfirmed.

Ann Demeulemeester – Work

Demeulemeester’s work is dark and often described as gothic, but that may be too general. Her women’s S/S 10 collection combines destitution and sex, i.e. a backless black dress, leather bandeaus covering an otherwise shirtless body. The men’s collection is more of a laissez-faire attitude with drapey robes and long chains. Her clothing is mostly black and white, with the odd beige piece and even more rare coloured piece. Her clothing is what Edward Scissorhands’ closet probably looks like. If that turns you off, remember this: she’s been a designer for just over three decades; she must be doing something right.