February 29, 2012 Paris
Demeulemeester's new designs had Salander's kick-ass, high-performance quality. There was a pointy sharpness to the layered scarf hems on leather jackets that suggested warrior action. As did the stiffened sculptural leather neckpieces. And the strict linear quality of suits made of bias-cut, funnel-necked jackets and pencil skirts provided a fierce new silhouette for the designer.
The designer was so exercised by this new direction that she insisted she had no need for decoration or color. Nevertheless, there was a sumptuously luminous blue ("the color of night," she said) that made the collection so much more interesting. As Demeulemeester's husband Patrick sagely said backstage, "If you do architecture, it has to be something people can live in."