The Best of Ann Demeulemeester, Set to Poetry

All over the world, punks, vampires, and stylish poets are mourning Ann Demeulemeester's exit from her eponymous label. Her androgynous, tailored pieces and voluminous black silhouettes left an almost literary cast on the world of fashion — hers was a style that privileged emotion over trends, dark romance over flashy attention-mongering. Ann Demeulemeester's acolytes are as distinctive as they are introverted, perpetually huddled inside in moody black coats and punkish lace-up boots, smoking a cigarette between two long, cold fingers as they sway to an old Patti Smith record.

In honor of "fashion's melancholy poet," as WWD so memorably termed her, here's some of her most emotive, elusory work, presented as it should be — next to swathes of dark poetry.

Image: @dianjyu/Instagram

Collection of Ann Demeulemeester Boots

"For these people had neither King nor LordAnd bowed to no oneAnd they had lived in their own liberty."

—Patti Smith, "Amerigo"

Image: @naomigration/Instagram

Accessory details, Spring 2011


am cooling because nothing

touches me."

—Robyn Schiff, "H1N1"

Image: @wewantcontrast/Instagram

Excerpt from Ann Demeulemeester's departure letter

"Tonight I am going to sleep alone

on the bedclothes of purity.


is the first hygienic measure.


will enlarge the walls of the room."

—Anna Swir, "I'll Open the Window"

Image: @panandthedream/Instgram

Headpiece detail, Spring 2014

"I follow my delirium, rooms, rooms, streets,walk groping and groping down the corridors of time and over and under its staircaseI feel along its walls and, not advancing,I turn to where I began, I seek your face,walk doubtfully these dim streets of my own self..."

—Octavio Paz, "Sun Stone"

Image: @80s90sfacingbeauties/Instagram

Spring 2012


you’re curious; you want to know

how she became a gnarled branch

veiled in diminutive blooms.

But I’ve told you all I know.

I was sure she had secrets,

but she had no secrets.I had to tell her mine."

—Chase Twichell, "Self-Portrait"

Image: @pauline_jorry/Instagram

Spring 2013

"And the soul creeps out of the tree."

—Louise Glück, "All Hallows"

Image: @anndemeulemeester/Instagram

Menswear Fall 2013

"I was always leaving, I was

about to get up and go, I was

on my way, not sure where.Somewhere else. Not here."

—Jean Nordhaus, "I Was Always Leaving"

Image: @kohtanyawanichapong/Instagram

Kate Moss walking an Ann Demeulemeester show in 1996

"She wore a cloak of fire on her skin,And power, power floated up to her."

—Howard Moss, "Jane"

Image: @helgaburrill/Instagram

Spring 1998

"He rolled and rolled. Sometimes

in his dizzying spins, he thought

he heard God. A whisper, but still."

—Aimee Nezhukumatathil, "The Rolling Saint"

Image: @eyespike/Instagram

Spring 2007

"If there had been tracks down the middle

Of this town, I would have met you crossing

And no matter what, asked whether

I was going the wrong way—Let me guess

You never needed anyone to tell you

It’s tough out here and nobody dared

Call you half-pint even with that gravelly

Voice and nail hard way you don’t touch, your skin

Velvet shadows as we reach and you turn away."

—Colleen McElroy, "Some Are Dead and Some Are Living"

Image: @debirolle/Instagram

Ann at work

"I got lost in the night, without the lightof your eyelids, and when the night surrounded meI was born again: I was the owner of my own darkness."

—Pablo Neruda, "Sonnet LVII"

Image: @keanoushdarosa/Instagram