Ann Demeulemeester Fall 2024 Ready-to-Wear: Here Comes Gallici’s Take

What a difference a season can make. After a compelling if reverential first effort, Stefano Gallici showed more of true colors while being respectful of the fashion house he now leads, following the blink-of-an-eye stint of Ludovic de Saint Sernin.

In a lengthy preview at the brand’s headquarters in Paris, the soft-spoken designer described a less orthodox and more dynamic approach to the company’s heritage, which Gallici had time to assimilate as he joined the firm in 2020. He was previously menswear designer.

Still, he compared this season’s exercise as stepping into a forest, “a complex, vast world — one that many people outside it have idealized. Each person has experienced a different era of Ann… who in 40 years has been many things,” said Gallici. “And the more you walk into the forest, the more you get lost. But in a way, that kind of feeling has always been a positive one for me, because it led me to find new routes. It was still a wandering in a space I know well, so at the end you never truly abandon the essence of the brand.”

At his how on Friday, Gallici explored an intriguing mix of roughness and fragility via biker jackets, a more structured take on tailoring, georgette dresses and fluid lingerie elements — all infused with a raw energy and attitude.

To tense music, he paraded great coats and jackets with shearling collars, which were hand-painted to look disheveled. They were made of leather with a lived-in effect or on military green melton fabric. Gallici highlighted that the former texture respected that sense of aging and enhanced value through usage that he’s always loved about the founder’s garments; the latter nodded to artist Joseph Beuys’ 1970 “Felt Suit” piece that was part of the many personal references he cited.

Distressed sweaters and knit dresses further built on its rough narrative. The lingerie-inspired silk sets and see-through slip dresses contrasted with the structured outerwear, but still respecting the overall vibe with raw-cut paneling, gauze-like lace trimming and thorn-shaped embroideries. Tree-piece pinstripe suits were revisited with asymmetries while other sartorial pieces were crafted from crinkled velvet with a shiny finish. 

“It’s never easy to bring your own voice and persona: there’s an ambivalence of determination and fragility at the same time behind this work,” Gallici mused. 

An exercise in self-awareness, his convincing collection proved that not all those who wander are lost.

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