Ann Demeulemeester certainly is one of the most poetic designers / labels, and Sébastien Meunier is fully aware of that. A poetry reference, in form of William Blake, could happen to be too literal. But, the result is just the right balance of the house references, poetic ‘way of dressing’ and Meunier’s personal romantic aesthetic. In adopting the British Romantic’s work for Demeulemeester, the designer composed a collection that was more than just clothes. Those were the emotions, as well. Having been most moved by Songs of Innocence and of Experience, he featured the book’s cover on a velvet-ribboned tank top worn with a velvet shirt and skinny, black pants. Loose sleeves, ‘undone’ shearling coats and tasselled belts were another details, noticeable in between the lines, of Sébastien’s smooth direction at the Belgian brand.
Collage by Edward Kanarecki.
Only Lovers Left Alive is one of my favourite movies, ever – vampy Tilda Swinton, elusive Detroit and the beautiful story of two, pale-faced lovers always makes me have goosebumps. So when I saw the first looks from Kate and Laura Mulleavy‘s Rodarte SS16 outing, I was mesmerised. I am absolutely share, that New York’s favourite sister duo had this movie on their mood-board. The collection had a fancy, psychedelic approach towards romantic dresses. This signature, Rodarte-ish romance is not shallow – it is like poetry. You need to interpret it the way you want. The designers spent the summer immersing themselves in Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Emily Dickinson, and Leonard Cohen, while listening to Electric Light Orchestra’s early synthesized, sparkly music. The collection also had something of Old Hollywood – the gowns were made of collages of lace, velvet, embroidery, beading, and silk fringing, cut into Victoriana bodices and ethereal, floor sweeping lenghts. To complete all that lavish heaven, Rodarte introduced their gorgeous, Art Deco inspired boots. The effect? With black fish-net tights, this collection felt authentic and nostalgic, but in a good sense.
“Why brilliant fashion designers, a notoriously nonanalytic breed, sometimes succeed in anticipating the shape of things to come better than professional predictors, remains one of the most obscure questions in history and, for the historian of culture, one of the most central.” said Marxist historian, Eric Hobsbawm. This sentence perfectly introduces you to Rei Kawakubo’s extraordinary summer, full of blood and roses. Very theatrical it was the SS15 for Comme des Garcons was very politically-historically connected. We switch from 2014 to 1914. Pain, wars, love, favourism, feeling, power- all of these things left a clew in those massive pieces. There was not even a major variation in reds; it was the same rose red, or poppy red, expressed again and again in widely different textures and silhouettes that ran like exploded and tattered versions of an invented history, one of Kawakubo’s own making. It was all RED. And very dramatic and deep. The hair reminded me of Alice in The Wonderland‘s big-headed queen while the exaggerated hoodies felt like The Red Riding Hood. Maybe it’s not hard to live between the world of kids and world of adults? Maybe we shouldn’t initially think of red as blood, but more of love? Rei Kawakubo, the poet of fashion, asks us again a strong question.