“They had lots of attitude,” said designer Ackermann after his show about the women he wanted to embody his Spring/Summer 2016 collection. He went on to explain that “we are living in a strange world, and we all want to belong to a nation, to a gang, to a family, and to be close. So I really wanted to have this gang of girls, with all their individuality, but all being together.”
How to define this gang that the designer had created? Punk poets is the moniker that comes to mind. For as lovely as this collection looked on the runway, it was one of the designer’s toughest.
These women – in their cropped fitted leather jackets and vests, vibrant silk slouchy pants, and shredded edged ruffle embellished shirts – were not going to be messed with. As they walked out of a cloud of smoke, with their hair in patches of spiky color and their faces slashed with what looked like cobwebs encountered while out all night at a rave in an abandoned warehouse, these women owned their power and their unique beauty.
Ackermann left nothing to chance. There was a rawness to his designs that was heightened by DIY looking leather jackets with “til death do us part” scrawled on the back, paint splattered shoes, and frayed low slung pants. There was also just a touch of geometric structure added into the sinuous mix. This came in the form of ethnic patterned glossy shantung pants and fitted jackets as well as one pair of impressively perforated leather pants covered in a mandala pattern.
What was particularly pleasing to see was how Ackermann was able to loosen up his traditionally structured and layered style. This shift was most apparent via a trio of silk tank dresses with a bit of lace peeking out as an underskirt.
Come next season, Ackermann isn’t going to need to recruit new members for his gang. Women are going to be lining up around the block to go through the initiation ceremony.