The first bite is taken with the eye; so say the Japanese about food. In fashion, that might translate into the impression generated by a designer's invitation. Ann Demeulemeester's was an expensive envelope, no address. The details of the show were printed on the inside flap. Totally interior. Just like the clothes, which were, according to Demeulemeester, all about a woman whose instinctive, utterly natural eccentricity inevitably finds outward expression in the way she dresses.

Something about that particular scenario suggested Sunset Boulevard, and there was indeed a Hollywood Gothic something in Demeulemeester's extraordinary flocking effects, spread across jackets and dresses, crawling up tulle-clad legs. Demeulemeester's woman has often been a warrior, but here you imagined a room with thick velvet curtains closed against the daylight, in which a creature of the night would languidly sprawl in poetic layers of flocked silk. Should she be compelled to venture into the outside world, it would be in a long, filmy skirt with a decorous pelmet underlay. And, in the interests of communicating her fuck-you eccentricity to the humans whose paths she'd cross, what more would she need than one of Ann's wild-is-the-wind neu-wimples?