Ann Huybens spring—summer 1998.
Her designs aim to combine exoticism and serenity, nostalgia and desire, chaos and peace. In concrete terms she translates this philosophy into clothes which are designed and made, literally and metaphorically, round the body. All pieces in her collections can only be ordered to measure. She creates mainly for women, regardless of age, shape or size.
Her collections always contain sections for afternoons, evenings and nights. Huybens intends this division into three sections to represent the circular course taken by a woman’s life. Her clothing is three-dimensional, wound in a spiral round the body, with no beginning and no end, an unceasing movement. She uses stitching, piping and contrasting colours to emphasise the seams that run round the body. Asymmetric fastenings, details and shapes ensure freedom of movement. A spiral skirt and a tango dress are typical items in her collections. The spiral skirt is a skirt with neither beginning nor end, wound in a spiral round the hips. Her tango dress has a long train that can be tied up by means of a small loop. Let’s dance!
In her choice of fabrics she is always on the lookout for material that is kind to the skin, and so natural rather than synthetic. Organic prints, embroidery and shot fabrics supply changes in colour as the wearer moves or the light changes. The seven shades of colour appearing on the Tranche de Vie print on silk crêpe, provide an example of her favourite colours, ranging from strong colours to gentle shades. Her love for the organic is so great that she uses natural materials in her designs. Shoes for example are given a ‘drumstick’ heel or made entirely from pony or ostrich leather. (Mink shawls and feather boas, wraparound suede belt 5 metres long)
Ann Huybens: I find a man dressed in a very refined dress the height of eroticism. I go on the assumption that men have the right to wear dresses, to be able to feel very fine materials on their body. It seems to me they have even less freedom than women in how they can move and behave.