Haider Ackermann Ready To Wear Fall Winter 2013 Paris
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It was all about the two F’s of womenswear for Haider Ackermann this season- force and fragility. The designer brought those two diametrically opposite ideas together in one fantastic fall/winter 2013 show.

“You know there are so many women that I am surrounded by and they are all so very strong and still there is such a fragility, you know- this kind of duality,” explained the designer after his show. It was a concept that worked extremely well within the poetic nomadic universe Ackermann has created since he started his signature brand in 2001.

Out of a smoky mist came the designer’s warrior women. Their hair (created by Eugene Souleiman) was set in stiff white blond tuffs and finished with black roots- these ladies are too busy doing battle to go in for a touch up- not punk, per se more post apocalyptic.

So what do you wear on Judgment Day? Some seriously sensual, yet, strong pieces that wrap the body up in protective outsized layers and swaddle it in masculine furs. The designer appropriated masculine tweeds and gave them a twist, turning his into wide legged pants, tops that undulated across the torso and quasi-military jackets. For evening options bolder men’s tie patterns were cut in glossy fabrics in shades of gray. Pea green was another strong color in this collection, once again giving the show a military undercurrent. One particular pea green piece that peeked interest was a boxy jacket that used the shade as silk sleeves, while the insides of the piece came lined in beaver.

As for the fur, there was nothing fragile about it.

“I really wanted to approach the fur, but I didn’t know how to do it. I really wanted to have a masculine feeling to it,” revealed Ackermann. “I didn’t want it to be too bourgeoisie or feminine. I like the force of the fur.”

They were certainly potent lining the insides of long outerwear or, in a high impact offering, used to create one full length beaver coat. Those pieces, along with the designer’s hallmark, nipped at the waist, leather coats will be popular come next winter.

But if this show was trying to find an equilibrium between force and fragility the balance tipping a bit in favor of force. However, if you asked any of the strong women who surround Ackermann if that was a problem more than likely the answer would be a resounding no.

- Jessica Michault

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