PARIS--In every one of Haider Ackermann’s shows, the soundtrack is key: he pays as much importance to the music as to the silence between the notes. His catwalks frequently kick off to no more than the noise of models’ heels echoing on the floor, as this one did. It's a melodic reflection of his style: he often begins by a pared down, understated silhouette, building into a slow crescendo of tailoring, intricacy and unveiling of the female figure.
Last season, Haider Ackermann introduced some bright splashes of color onto his usually somber designs; at the end of the catwalk, the Belgian designer told us the Ackermann girl was “ready to come out of the shadow.”
The season, Haider’s femininity is out of the shadows indeed, and standing in the spotlight: the collection, shown yesterday in Paris’s Palais de Tokyo, comprised of a multitude of rich tones--there were deep teals, white and cream, silver silk and burgundy leather (ok, he’s not quite into neon shades either, but we did spot some glitter). The show kicked off in absolute silence, with an impeccable monochrome leather look--draped and belted, mixing a tight waist with ample volumes at the back (by now his staple look). To this pared down all-black silhouette he added small details--such as a silk lapel so shiny it could be mistaken for fine leather. The looks then evolved into black and white contrasts, crepe and wool designs, with knots in the front and trails.
The drop waist trend we're seeing emerge for next fall appeared in the collection in the way of oversized snakeskin belts worn loosely on the hips, creating a loose top and flowy bottom on large jackets and dresses.
We also noticed a 1940s silhouette, in a woolen green pencil skirt and leather jacket proving Ackermann’s woman has grown up, and not only is she ready to wear colors, she also knows how to show off her figure. The outfits that followed showed bare shoulders poking out of toga-like tops, tight-fitting glittery maxi skirts with patches cut out at the thigh. Other pieces better suited for everyday life included trousers in suede and silk and wrap-around leather jackets.
We heard Haider Ackermann is one of the potential designers considered for the Dior position, and we have total faith in his ability to fill Galliano’s shoes, and restore Parisian subtlety into a house that had become more bling than chic. What do you think?
**All photos: Imaxtree.