1997 Asymmetrical Tailored Shirt with Layered Panel
Size S: Best for an IT 46 - 36 Chest - S or a slim IT 48 - 38 Chest - S/M.
Ann Demeulemeester white shirt from S/S 1997. In excellent used condition. Made in Belgium.
‘I like to change a movement, change the way something falls. It's like cutting an attitude into the clothes.'
-Ann Demeulemeester, 1997 interview with Stephen Todd
The first Ann Demeulemeester garments for men were presented on the Spring/Summer 1996 runway. As the designer herself has explained in various interviews, her decision to create menswear was largely prompted by male friends who were eager to wear her clothes. As a result her early mens' designs were intrinsically similar to her womenswear in their consideration of pattern, body movement and drape. Indeed, entire Ann Demeulemeester collections have been devoted to these principles. A most notable example is S/S 1997, where most of the garments featured highly asymmetrical patterns on each side. The result was somewhat nonchalant and relaxed, while maintaining the sharp minimalism of Demeulemeester's output from the 1990s.
This beautiful shirt features a layered panel on its right side, which attaches to the main body on the shoulder. Cut slightly longer and straight, the panel creates sharp lines that are playfully juxtaposed with the contoured shape of the shirt. When the shirt is worn, the disconnected sides of the panel move for a subtle yet sophisticated point of interest. The cut of the shirt is slim like most of Demeulemeester's work from this period, with narrow shoulders, high armholes and side seams with defined curves. A strong pointed collar gives a sober elegance to the piece, while the chest features a curvilinear patch pocket. The fabric is an exceptional quality medium weight cotton that looks as white and crisp as when the shirt was manufactured over 15 years ago. (Runway photos from S/S 1997 and S/S 2005 when this piece was reissued).
The construction of this piece is impeccable, and of a standard that is rarely seen in contemporary designer fashion. All seams are executed with utmost precision, while the interior is flawlessly finished with flat fell seams in its entirety. Barely perceptible details have been addressed with care: The button stitches have a slightly longer length, allowing the shirt to be buttoned easily despite the fact that the right side features two layers of buttonholes. The shirt is finished with a curved hem, while the cuffs have a strong curvilinear shape. All buttons are realised in genuine mother of pearl.
Combining tradition with avant-garde experimentation, this piece captures the effortless yet dramatic elegance that characterises Ann Demeulemeester. While being easy to integrate in any outfit, its unique construction makes a refined statement.