Fashion
  • Text Lakeisha Goedluck
  • Photography Nicky Zeng
  • 27th September 2019

For Jolene

In America, Dolly Parton is somewhat of a national treasure. Her blonde barnet, penchant for sequins and the working person’s anthem, 9 to 5, have cemented her career in country music. But despite her vivacious demeanour, her haunting heartbreak track Jolene is what inspired Ann Demeulemeester’s artistic director Sébastien Meunier this season.

More specifically, it was a cover by indie musician Lingua Ignota (real name Kristin Hayter) that really struck a chord with the designer. “Lingua Ignota’s take on Jolene reflects a contemporary femininity that is both complex and nuanced,” read the show notes. “The artist is a natural chapter in the Ann Demeulemeester history.” Fittingly, a tracklist compiled of songs from Ignota’s self-released albums made up the show’s soundtrack.

To suit Ignota’s rebellious sound, models stepped out with eyes rimmed with kohl. Asymmetric dresses which looked like knitted bralets fused with vinyl bandeau silhouettes were split high at the thigh for an extra-dramatic finish. Blazers were cut into curves at the hemline, while layered, lightweight muslin dresses in white, black and blood-red came with complex necklines. According to the show notes, these pieces were designed to be worn “front-ways, backwards or completely open.” Angsty experimentation was the aim of the game for Meunier for SS20: a theme that has been prevalent throughout his tenure at the label.