Many years ago in NY, my sweet and talented graphic designer friend Robin (blackbird design), who now resides in Chicago, introduced me to the '24 hour theory': if you hear of something new, out of the blue, chances are you'll hear it again from an unrelated source within 24 hours.
When I first met Charlie May (Girl a la Mode), at the Next event, and discovered she'd graduated from Central Saint Martins and is a fashion designer, I asked what her work is like. It's like the game I play with my NY friend Lisa, before I'd meet her boyfriend, for example, it's 'who would play him in a film?' (it's a great game: everyone can either resemble someone, or in a pinch, a cross between two). Charlie said her influences are Celine and 'Ann Smushmushsmush'. 'Ann who?' 'Ann Smushmushsmush'. After a few rounds, I finally asked her to spell it: Ann Demeulemeester. And I realised I'd never actually heard the name spoken aloud. But of course, I knew OF her. And less than 24 hours later, I forget why now, Mr. Dot brought up her name.
Ann Demeulemeester sounds fascinating. She's married to a photographer and lives in Belgium with their son in the only Le Corbusier house in Belgium. And she emerged as a designer in Antwerp in the 80s along with a kind of 'school' of Belgium designers, including Dries Van Noten, who became known as the Antwerp Six. Charlie's friend Amy worked for her and she'd visit Antwerp and that's how she started collecting her clothes. I mean, check out her website, isn't it amazing? I love how in her 2011 collection some of the details on the white jacket are echoed in the boots Charlie's wearing here (also by Ann D). And she was saying that, for example, with the white top, her friend wears it back to front, with the ties in the back.
I love wearing things backwards. V neck jumpers especially. I just like having more detail in the back and a plain front. I can see this top worn that way. Sorry it's so blurry: I really want to shoot Charlie in this in brighter light, but there's something about these blurs that I think are just so beautiful.
So when I met her for late lunch @ Vapiano the other day, and she was wearing almost head to toe Ann Demeulemeester, I had to snap her. But while I'd brought my camera I'd forgotten my battery, so we used her camera - and it was dark - and it all came out these lovely blurs. (Charlie's done a post already but I'm purposely not reading hers before posting mine).
At a time when it seems to much of fashion is looking backwards, to the Seventies, mostly but still referencing the Fifties, Sixties, bit of the Eighties, this is the direction that, to me, feels most like the future. It's not 2001 Space Odyssey astronaut futuristic, but something more organic, layered, fresh, comfortable, clean yet still feminine, asymmetric, geometric yet soft, and above all, beautiful.