"In the backyard of the [Royal Academy of Fine Arts] school was this little building, on the verge of collapsing. You would have to very carefully go over the stairs, because if you took one mis-step, you could literally push your feet through them. It was almost dangerous. So I think that the whole thing melted well together. It was the switch from the 80s to 90s, the reaction on excess with minimalism and deconstruction, the first appearance of grunge. So that feeling of romanticism, together with the history, the building and the run down corridors with the statues, it really did make a big impact on how you formed your visual language. I really think there was something quite dark and magical about it, matching perfectly the zeitgeist of the period."

— Willy Vanderperre
Ann Demeulemeester spring / summer 1998
For Spring ’98, Ann posed the question: “I wanted a tank top and shirt, but thought I am not designing anything, the pieces exist, I am being a stylist and not doing my job. So I took it a step further with a tank top and shirt that opens at the back. In the front I had this masculinity and in the back I had this sensuality.” The collection was a tribute to Alain Ginsberg, who wrote a poem before his death about everything in the world being holy. The pegan rocker and punk princess Patti Smith wrote a song from the poem and sent it to her friend Ann. “I thought it was such a beautiful message that maybe I could get the message further. We made 2,000 tank tops with the word ‘holy’ on it and that was a way for us to spread the message. We were so excited about it.”

Ann Demeulemeester spring / summer 1998

For Spring ’98, Ann posed the question: “I wanted a tank top and shirt, but thought I am not designing anything, the pieces exist, I am being a stylist and not doing my job. So I took it a step further with a tank top and shirt that opens at the back. In the front I had this masculinity and in the back I had this sensuality.” The collection was a tribute to Alain Ginsberg, who wrote a poem before his death about everything in the world being holy. The pegan rocker and punk princess Patti Smith wrote a song from the poem and sent it to her friend Ann. “I thought it was such a beautiful message that maybe I could get the message further. We made 2,000 tank tops with the word ‘holy’ on it and that was a way for us to spread the message. We were so excited about it.”


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