Derek has one of the most insane wardrobes of anyone I know. I have witnessed him acquire items he has searched high and low for; slowly crossing items off his list of coveted grails. More than just being the biggest Ann Demeulemeester enthusiast I know; Derek seamlessly works in varied brands with an eye for mood, texture and proportion. I visited him recently and photographed some of his all-time favorite pieces and looks.
You can find Derek holding it down at Atelier New York.
This is my interpretation of iconic Ann Demeulemeester. When I don this I feel delightfully anachronistic, romantic, even a little bit rebellious. The rebel prince, I think. The contrast of wool and cotton on top and all leather on the bottom is essential in conveying this. With tailored trousers and a shoe it becomes dull, ethical, stiff. That couldn’t be farther from me.
This look brings forth my obsession with America, with rock n roll. I think of the beats, of open sky and endless road. I feel and externalize the death of old America, its evils, its mysticism, its hope. The Frontierman. Yeah, that’s him there, searching for new hopes in faint ideas.
This is the other half of Ann: the nonchalant, even lazy, street rat. This is poete maudite, dreaming and believing.
This jacket is oldish, but reeks of the future. It’s completely twisted and lopsided, and sparkles in the light. I miss this lux street attitude in Ann’s design.
“As long as the world shall last there will be wrongs, and if no man objected and no man rebelled, those wrongs would last forever.” – Clarence Darrow
ANN DEMEULEMEESTER COTTON/METAL TAILORED JACKET
I think it sings a seminal Ann jacket tune – trans-seasonal nubby cotton/metal textile, quiet asymmetric cut, peak lapel with hidden buttons. The metal cleverly holds wrinkles nicely, and it’s taken on serious character since I received it. Karlo Steel gave me this jacket as a gift from his personal wardrobe, “I think there’s something vampiric about it.”
NUMBER (N)INE COW LEATHER JACKET
From the masterpiece FW08 My Own Private Portland collection. I never knew this jacket existed in black until last winter, as each one I handled was caramel leather with chocolate topstitching. So when I found this I bought it instantly. It’s design and cut feel made for me. The thick, matte cow leather has an ineffable patina. If the world fell into anarchy, i’d grab this and run.
ANN DEMEULEMEESTER COTTON WAISTCOAT
If you’re going to have only one Ann waistcoat, this is the obvious choice. A slightly elongated take on a traditional waistcoat with signature double straps at the back. This particular one is made in a shadowstripe cotton. I like to wear it in the summer without anything underneath.
RICK OWENS UNSTABLE COTTON T-SHIRT
No one makes a t-shirt like Rick Owens, by now everyone should consider any t-shirt against his as the standard for comparison. I prefer them in uberdelicate sheer cotton and long long long. The more holes, the better.
NUMBER (N)INE COTTON JEANS
I’ve shredded these over and over again, but will never get rid of them. I’ll keep patching them up until they completely fall apart, and then i’ll mount them on my wall forever after. I’ve yet to use the suspender loops, though.
ANN DEMEULEMEESTER CASHMERE/SILK COLLARED T-SHIRT
Unbelievably delicious fabric, terribly thin, new holes showing up almost every time I wear it. I got this one at Atelier. It’s still my favorite Ann top in my closet: the floppy collar, dropped shoulder, and long sleeves strike the perfect lazy elegance balance.
ANN DEMEULEMEESTER COTTON/CASHMERE TWISTED DOUBLE LAYER KNIT
This is a recent acquisition, but something i’ve lusted over unabashedly for five years, unable to procure one until just a few weeks ago. It’s masterfully pre-twisted design and contrasting interior color trump all other double-layer pieces i’ve handled. Another vital representation of Ann’s sloppy punk-poet muse.
WERKSTATT MUNCHEN RINGS
I wear these every single day; this is the extent of my finger jewelry. They are simple, masculine, and timeless.
MA+ COW LEATHER ENVELOPE BAG
A completely anachronistic shape, and almost non-functional for an everyday runaround. Perfect for a book, a notebook, and a pen.
ANN DEMEULEMEESTER WOOL/SILK CAP
My first and only Ann cap. I get offers for this on the street, but it’ll be buried with me.
NUMBER (N)INE BEAVER HAT
Call me Amish, call me Hasidic, it’s all good. And oh so warm.
ANN DEMEULEMEESTER LEATHER BELT
My one and only. It’s very long and dangles like a tail from my hip.
MA+ COW LEATHER WALLET
NUMBER (N)INE JACKIE O’S Sunglasses
These are obnoxious, and I couldn’t be happier. I’ve dropped them a hundred times.
ANN DEMEULEMEESTER OILED SUEDE HI-TOPS
My first and only pair of her trainers. They had some buckles for the shaft but I took them off after a week or two. The wide eyelets and double zippers are paramount to both style and function.
CARPE DIEM REVERSE COW ANKLE BOOT
One thing i’ll never, ever understand is how people keep their shoes looking new. I got these over 4 years ago and I think I wore them for almost two straight years when I first got them. They’re still the best made and most comfortable shoes i’ve ever owned. They still feel as good as the day I bought them every time I wear them. The patina is perfect: rugged and lush, bruised, irreplicable.
Photography by Rocky Li