The music industry has the White Album. And now fashion has an iconic black book, thanks to a beautiful new volume from Rizzoli chronicling the visual history of Ann Demeulemeester‘s contributions to the world of fashion. The Flemish designer has been a reference point for years, known for her sleek and essential touches—whether that’s her black and white dresses or her devotion to form and construction. After graduating from Antwerp’s Royal Academy of Fine Arts in 1981, she became an influential part of the Antwerp Six, a group of creative minds (including Dries van Noten and Walter van Beirendonck) who have deeply influenced global fashion for more than a decade. Demeulemeester founded her label in 1985 but after almost 20 years of successful, recently stepped down.
The new tome tells her story and represents the perfect incarnation of her style. It looks and feels almost sacred, with pages so thin the images can be seen on both sides of each sheet; it’s a truly delicate beauty. For this reason, every single page is printed only on one side, creating a uniquely singular reading experience. The size and weight of the book gently contrasts with the fragility and smoothness of the paper, while the almost total white of the inside is in opposition with the blackness of the sides and the linen cover. Text is kept to the essentials, limited to an introduction by Parry Smith (Demeulemeester’s longtime muse) and a short final dedication by the designer herself. The book was designed by Victor Robyn, a Belgian graphic designer who has been in charge of realizing Demeulemeester’s graphics for years—from show invitations to printed fabrics. The art direction is curated by Victor Robyn, Demeulemeester herself and Patrick Robin, her life and business partner.
The Anne Demeulemeester book is available for purchase from Amazon for $65.
Images by Paolo Ferrarini