There are times when a collection calls for a presentation setting rather than a typical runway show. Designer Haider Ackermann has been a proponent of this concept for his menswear shows ever since he first started showing the line.
And up until this season it worked.
Watching models mill about wearing Ackermann's distinctive and dashing designs, often in rich jewel hues and wrapped chicly about the body, made it possible to enjoy up close his sophisticated color play, elegant fabric choices and fitted tailoring.
So it was exceedingly frustrating on Wednesday night at the Musée Galliera to see his collection in a pénombre of light. The darkness dampening the colors of the lush velvets, obscuring the animal come wood print outerwear and distracting from the slim silhouettes. Perhaps the only outfit that benefited from the mise en scène was the final ensemble. An all back suit shot through with reflective sequins that shimmered in the low light.
There was a brief moment when the lights came up and the standing audience sighed with relief to finally, if only for a moment and at a frustrating distance, see this collection in all its splendor. But then the lights quickly dimmed again, as if Ackermann's men had returned to the interior of a clandestine night club destined to fade into its darkest reaches never to be seen again.