At the start of the Haider Ackermann show it looked as if the designer had decided to take his jeweled hued tones, metallic materials, and layered style into a Thin White Duke slash David Bowie direction.
There was something much more androgynous about those first few models, their hair pulled up in a updated ducktail style that left long bangs at the front, then has been seen on Ackermann’s catwalk in quite some time. There was a sense that everything had been paired down. The layering was lighter, the pants slimmer or even cut into shorts, and the jackets looser- hanging instead of hugging the body. There was even a shockingly understated outfit in those first looks, a matte black jumpsuit with a crisscross neckline that was in one word -chic.
But Ackermann wasn’t finished surprising the audience.
As the show progressed he began to move his collection into a more expansive direction. Everything got looser, fuller, more relaxed, so relaxed that actually covering up the body was even sometimes abandoned. Most strikingly so in a pleated maxi dresses cut from transparent fabric at the torso only to melt into a luminescent-rich blue pleated fabric at the waist. But there were also quite a number of gauzy voile see through tops worn under all those beautiful easy jackets.
This play with volume, that saw long pleated dresses, often worn over pants, billow out about the models as they moved was also new territory for the designer. In fact most of this collection felt new and experimental. No more so than the three all black matte looks that Ackermann dotted into the show. Devoid of any artifice each one was stunning in its quite, faultlessly tailored design. But there is one of those looks that lingers in the mind, and that is the off the shoulder, long sleeve dress, that when it came down the runway was discreetly elegant. However, when the model turned to reveal a plunging V that exposed most of her back, it showed off the designer’s mastery design skills in a way nothing else in this collection was able to do.
If Ackermann is itching to take his signature brand in a new direction, those three black outfits are on the path he should continue to follow next season.