Saturday, June 19

Ann Demeulemeester Spring 1998 Ready-to-Wear Collection

I can give some examples of this Dadaistic approach. I was making nude arm pieces and printing on them in big letters left arm, or right arm. It’s so absurd, but I thought it was so beautiful to say, ‘Well, my leg is holy. Look!’ I translated it in French, so instead of human body, I had corps humain.

At a certain moment when I was cutting I found something really special, which was, to me, really interesting to work on. Maybe it’s not for somebody else, but anyway, I enjoyed myself a lot by doing that. I was working on the back of the garments and I opened the back in the middle and I folded it inside. I was trying to imagine that this piece that I folded inside would become the front of something that is under the garment; so like one garment that becomes two in the front with a naked back. You can see this on the last outfit, the one that Kirsten is wearing. She has a vest and a jacket and a trouser. From the front you would think it’s a three-piece suit, but the back is folded inside and becomes the vest of the jacket. So in the front, you have this three piece-suit, which is really chic, but in the back, you have the sensuality of a woman’s back.

I developed this idea in a lot of things: sweaters, dresses, shirts. For instance, if you look at outfit number seven, Amber Valletta has like a T-shirt and a shirt, but these pieces are attached to each other. It’s one piece and her back is bare. It’s complicated [to explain]; it’s very difficult [as well]. I never wanted to make tricky clothes, I wanted them to look real but intriguing, and this idea had it all; I could make real clothes, like a vest and a jacket, but completely change them.

Amber Valletta.

Photo: Condé Nast Archive

Amber Valletta.

Photo: Condé Nast Archive

In this particular collection I wanted to have some signal columns, real colors in complete contrast with my black-and-white story. It was important to me to find a way to [use color] because this stretch fabric that I developed felt really modern to me at that time, and I thought, I need these bodies of Yves Klein who are in this very vivid blue. It was a very new invention then, this fabric that was really stretching in a really nice quality that could do that close-to-the-body work.

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