Saturday, June 24, 2017

BEAUTY: Clothing--Ann Demeulemeester SS'18

From 1967 to 1972, legendary photographer Robert Mapplethorpe lived with his then-girlfriend, singer-songwriter/poet/artist Patti Smith at the Chelsea Hotel (previously here)--a place Smith called "a doll’s house in the Twilight Zone" in JUST KIDS, her 2010 book about her life with Mapplethorpe. Their life together--even after Mapplethorpe came out, they maintained a deep, close friendship--is perfect vintage New York-Bohemian-downtown-rock-and-roll stuff.

Ever since Ann Demeulemeester started her label in 1985, she has looked to the androgynous Patti Smith for style inspiration (Ann and Patti became friends and Smith reports she packs her "trusty Ann Demeulemeester black jackets" to go on tour) and now that the men's line is being overseen by Sébastien Meunier, he is carrying on this inspiration with the addition of the equally androgynous Mapplethorpe. He explains, "It was about Robert Mapplethorpe in his life at the Chelsea Hotel . . . . We wanted to give homage to this bohème period that was very creative in the ’70s and ’80s in New York."

This Spring Summer '18 collection at Paris Fashion Week is typically romantic and flowing, which is why I tend to love what Demeulemeester does. But even with large flower corsages at models' necks, this collection naturally has a bit of a punky edge to it (black, tall-shaft leather boots that look a bit S&M-ish) considering the inspiration. I like the tank top that says simply "Look at my pictures." Some pieces reminiscent of silk pajamas reference the clothing Mapplethorpe wore toward the end of his life, when he was ill. For those unfamiliar, he died of AIDS in 1989 at the too-young age of 42.

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