The air of tribalism that has infused many a collection this season didn't leave even the black heart of Ann Demeulemeester untouched. Despite resolutely sticking to her tried and tested standards - narrow ankle-length skirts, wide-trousered slouchy suits and, of course, tonnes and tonnes of inky textural play - Demeulemeester broadened her palette, her scope, and therefore the appeal of her latest offering.
It was her monochrome colour palette that was the first to be affected by the tribal mood, crafting loose, vaguely military jackets from linen the shade of scorched, sandy earth. This darkened quickly to deepest lipstick crimson, rendered predominantly in leather and sliced into the collection's stand-out pieces - a perfectly-cut red trench, sharply-tailored cape, or opera-length gloves under a black jacket with high-buttoned cuff. Gloves were something of a leitmotif - an odd one, granted, but when they came swathed with studded S&M hardware or sprouting black feathers that trailing along the inside of the palm, they were stunners.
There were other more obvious touches of tribalism - Demeulemeester took leather ropes and hung them loosely about the body rather than strapping it down, in mimicry of the hanging necklaces and beading of many an African tribe. It also, of course, has a parallel in the shredded garments of her beloved punks and goths, who had plenty to choose from given the predominance of black and shiny shiny leather (she does it very well, we'll give her that). Coque-feathers frothing under and over garments may be a harder sell - a strong and forceful statement, hanging from hemlines or exploding from sleeves, they worked. But froth a few too many up and it looks like a cast-off from Shanghai Lily: fabulous on Marlene Dietrich, a little Liberace on anyone else, as was the case with a series of shell tops covered in the stuff as very flashy evening option for Demeulemeester's dark army.