One of the most highly anticipated new beginnings of this fashion week month was the debut of Stefano Gallici at Ann Demeulemeester. Stefano, a former IUAV student born in 1996, began his career as an assistant designer at Haider Ackermann before relocating to Paris to join the Ann Demeulemeester menswear creative team, eventually taking the reins as Creative Director.
Stefano's debut took place in an abandoned warehouse on the outskirts of Paris, immediately setting the tone for the grunge and punk collection that was about to be unveiled. The sounds of wind and crashing waves reverberated through the dimly lit, expansive alleys.
Through these alleys, Gallici was able to convey his poetic message, "Existence is fluid. So are identities," through the majestic staple pieces of the Belgian label. Just as identities are fluid, the clothes themselves were perceived as flowing and smooth silhouettes juxtaposed and layered with rugged leather accessories. Belts played a prominent role in the Spring/Summer 2024 collection, adorned with an abundance of leather fringes and aprons, genderless suits, and layering contrasts. Belts served various functions, from semi-corsets to bracelets, which were gifted to all the show's guests, ultimately serving their traditional purpose by adding opacity to sheerness.
The color palette of the collection revolved around black, white, and neutral tones, with an unexpected pop of royal blue. This vibrant hue made its appearance in a sheer dress, always accentuated with leather fringes, and later layered with black transparency. The royal blue paid homage to Ann Demeulemeester's 90s archive collections.
Stefano's approach of "using items of clothing that are attentively defined as to appear undefined, enticing ways to play with each piece as to make it one's own" leaves the collection open to interpretation. It is not meant to be a single uniform; rather, it is shaped by one's behavior and personality. In the designer's words, the pieces can be considered "Uniforms of non uniformity." As he closed the show by walking down the aisle, leaving guests emotional and surprised, he returned to the runway once more with the entire team to express his gratitude for their hard work on this collection.