A bigger venue, a more convenient time slot, important faces in the crowd—has Haider Ackermann finally arrived? The beautiful collection he showed today certainly suggests he deserves every bit of the newfound attention.
The designer has developed something of a cult following for the seductive way he can wrap and drape a long dress and construct the tiniest, supplest leather jackets around. Both of these signatures returned for Fall, the former in a thicker knit with asymmetric shoulder lines, bare expanses of back, and a daring hip-high slit up one leg. The latter came in bold-for-Ackermann shades of ruby and violet, as well as in burnished gold sequins.
Where this collection upped the ante was with new embroideries and an assured hand for mannish tailoring. "She's coming from nowhere and brings her treasures with her," Ackermann said of his muse, adding that "she's not androgynous, but there's that side to her and she's trying to bring it out." A racerback tank with a ravaged, uneven hem was embellished all over with silver flower embroideries that reappeared as tuxedo stripes down the sides of slouchy, tapered pants. A long, silver-fringed scarf worn with one of his floor-length, bias-cut silk skirts did double duty as a top. On the more masculine side, he showed the season's oversize blazer in washed brown silk and a pajama set in purple satin. Still, it's his little jackets that set the heart thumping. The best, a corseted cutaway tailcoat in cranberry, worn with a long silk-satin skirt with a train, could increase Ackermann's reach still further: It would make an inspired red-carpet choice for a lithe Hollywood type with an adventurous spirit.