Ann Demeulemeester Menswear Spring Summer 2014 Paris
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Ann Demeulemeester Menswear Spring Summer 2014 Paris

Colored lightbulbs delineated the runway at Ann Demeuemeester’s spring-summer 2014 show in Bercy, imparting a deliciously retro funfair feel to this otherwise neutral space. It was, as the collection itself were a study in contrasts starting with the moment she endeavored to describe: Sunday afternoons as an occasion to dress up, not slob around.

Devendra Banhart’s Shabop Shalom described the mood the designer was aiming for to a T, she said, “I wanted to recapture the feeling of Sunday afternoons, where there was time to dress, to take care of ourselves. To feel free, and perhaps do it with a dose of humour.” A time to let it hang, so to speak, like the ribbons Demeulemeester so loves and which were this time discreetly imprinted with her name, or the shadowy wisterias flocked onto her silks. Nevertheless, construction underlined a sense of sophistication no longer associated with leisure and that her signature layering highlighted.

It was all so beautifully executed, it held the room in her thrall, right down to a pigeon nested high above who also seemed fascinated.

It was obvious that dressing up for fun is serious business -that pink silk jacket is definitely not to be trifled with- but when imparted with a feeling of romance and of softness, buttons undone on smart waistcoats, flowers tumbling down bold stripes, shirt cuffs left open, delicate colors sparsely used, it recaptured painterly picnics of the Impressionist era. But what is a Sunday if not the perfect time for poetic reverie? Or perhaps we needed to be reminded that it was time to take care of ourselves, and not just let go.

- Lily Templeton