In a pitch black cavernous room Haider Ackermann made his audience wait for it. Made them crave it. Made them earn it. For his collection was unfurled painstakingly slowly under a flickering florescent overhead light and to the somnolent sounds of a man slowly reciting the words to the song “The Man I Love.” And yes, right now, the fashion world is in love with Ackermann.
His favorite glossy jewel tone hues and his Asian influenced esthetic have been popping up on runways all over the place this season. So what to do when all eyes of the fashion world are looking to you for inspiration? For this designer, it seems to be all about baby steps.
Ackermann kept to his now hallmark silhouette of finely tailored strong-shouldered suits that come layered with undulating shirts and vests. These ensembles are then cinched tight to the body thanks to obi style belts or others wrapped about the waist like sartorial origami. Dresses too were once again flowing to the floor and being held to the body with barely there string-like straps.
No, the change in this collection was more external than structural. Ackermann completely abstained from using any warm shades in this show (a bold choice considering this is a collection meant for the summer months). Turning instead to graphic and geometric prints for runway impact. This meant a mélange of say a polka dot robe with black and white chevron pants or an asymmetrical chain linked silk print pleated dress finished off at the chest with a band of dot covered fabric wrapping the bosom.
It made for a quiet and reflective show. And its slow pacing gave ample time for the audience to appreciate the craftsmanship of a woven pair of leather pants or the sculptural elegance of a pristine white vest that curved up at the collar to sit just below the model’s chin. It was as if this show was the designer’s way of taking a deep breath before pushing into a new domain.
- Jessica Michault