When we talk about great painters, we talk about the integrity of the line –- the confidence, clarity and personality in their brushwork. The same is true of a really singular designer. Ann Demeulemeester is one of these artists.
Born in 1959, Demeulemeester graduated from Antwerp’s Royal Academy of Fine Arts in 1981. Shortly after, she joined the avant-garde fashion collective Antwerp Six, adding a little artiness to fashion. The Antwerp Six includes Belgium’s six most influential avant-garde fashion designers: Dries Van Noten, Ann Demeulemeester, Dirk Van Saene, Walter Van Beirendonck, Dirk Bikkembergs, and Marina Yee. In the 1980s, they all received their diploma from the Royal Academy of Fine Arts of Antwerp. There they learned to create fashion under the supervision of Linda Loppa. At the time of the collective’s creation, the six designers’ work represented a radical breakthrough. Their vision was so different and unusual that it transformed Antwerp into a reputable destination in the fashion world, especially after their participation in the London fashion fair in the late 1980s. In 1985, Ann Demeulemeester started her own line of clothing, which was soon recognised as experimental but also wearable. Renowned for a poetic balance of shadow and light, the collections for women and men evoke romance, poeticism and a melancholic mood nuanced with a rock spirit. Entwined with classicism and the radical touch of music and contemporary art, each design captures strength and sensitivity in equal parts.