Ann Demeulemeester was born in Belgium in 1959 and attended the Royal Academy of Antwerp where she studied fashion design. She introduced her own line in 1985 after working freelance for several years. In 1996 she launched a successful menswear line. Her creations are made in Belgium and Italy and are sold internationally.
Demeulemeester is recognized as one of the experimental designers of the 1980s known as deconstructionist. Demeulemeester often mixes unusual fabrics rather than focusing on color and is known for using mostly black and dark colors or whites, although some of her latest collections have displayed subtle touches of color such as rust or silver. Her signature style is the long, dark, draping coat or a flowing multi-layered dress with an unusual construction. Her designs frequently create an elongated form that can be quite elegant. She has successfully married the avant-garde with the austere, the modern with the slightly retro.
This often contradictory designer has made a statement with her precise cut, expert tailoring, and attention to detail. She uses the texture of the fabric and movement of the garment, rather than ornamentation, and multiple colors to achieve her aesthetic. Demeulemeester, who almost always wears black herself, has gained a loyal band of followers who appreciate her poetic sensibility. The fluid movement and slightly androgynous style of her designs have made her a favorite among many from the “Rock ‘n Roll” crowd who may be drawn to fashion, but prefer a more unconventional style. Her collections have great appeal for those who do not necessarily follow current trends or consider themselves to be fashion slaves.
Written by cactusandcattails