The Graphology of Ann Demeulemeester

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Ann Demeulemeester
Ann DemeulemeesterPhotography by Willy Vanderperre

Today Ann Demeulemeester announced her resignation from the design house that bears her name. In tribute, we flashback to AnOther S/S09 to consider the story behind the designer's handwriting

The summer of 2009 saw the handwriting of famed Belgian designer Ann Demeulemeester take centre stage in AnOther Magazine's regular graphology column. At today's news that she is stepping down from her eponymous label after more than 30 years, we revisit Susannah Frankel's wonderful piece detailing the secrets behind her handwriting, using them to consider her touching resignation letter that was published yesterday.

“The writer has an imposing, radiant personality and is imbued with lots of energy and vitality,” says Caroline Murray, governor and director of the British Academy of Graphology, of this season’s designer-under-scrutiny, Ann Demeulemeester. “She has original ideas, is creative and extremely imaginative,” as can be seen by “large lower loops” and “warm strokes of the pen”, apparently. Good news and – if it doesn’t sound retrogressively chauvinistic to point out – typically feminine characteristics, perhaps.

Demeulemeester is no cute, cuddly pussy cat however, resisting the urge to “get carried away with her many ideas. Matters are undertaken with discipline and tenacity.” Evidence of this is all present and correct in a “regular baseline and controlled movement”, Murray is quick to point out. Like any designer worth her credentials – and Demeulemeester is certainly one of these – she “devotes herself wholeheartedly to her projects, perhaps as a result of her high ideals, a sense of pride and need for perfection.” Praise indeed. How do we know this? “Large beginning
 letters” and “a well organised and typographic layout” argues Murray, and who are we to disagree?

"Ann Demeulemeester has original ideas, is creative and extremely imaginative,” as can be seen by “large lower loops” and “warm strokes of the pen”

Demeulemeester is also in possession of “broad velvety strokes”, proving that she is “warm-hearted and will empathise with others”. Are there any limits to this woman’s considerable qualities, one might wonder? Not this time. While the above might all seem to veer perilously close to the too-good-to-be-true, the compliments just keep coming. Demeulemeester is “independent and will keep her distance when she feels necessary” (there is “big spacing” between words to prove it). “To summarise,” says Murray, Demeulemeester is “a sensitive, courteous woman who has highly original conceptions. She carries her matters through to fulfilment with integrity and self-discipline.” And there we have it. We are dealing with a veritable superstar, both on the catwalk and beyond.

Text by Susannah Frankel