June 15, 2010 Florence
Ackermann was Pitti's special womenswear guest (Raf Simons shows for Jil Sander tonight as the menswear invitee), and a surprise was promised. You could take your pick: the stunning Renaissance venue (the Palazzo Corsini) whose shadowy salons opened onto a chandelier-lit central courtyard, where a single bat circled while the audience took their seats; the table laid for a Caravaggio bacchanal; the atmospheric musical accompaniment from model Jamie Bochert. Or perhaps the surprise was that Ackermann was offering menswear for the first time. It was costume-y with its mirrored patchworks and brocades, but its boho nomad spirit felt like an authentic expression of the outré world defined in Haider's book. As for his womenswear, the main issue was that there was scarcely enough of it to get a true sense of the collection. One outfit of a leopard-spot camisole and pajama-striped pants ended in a long, animal-printed train that had a gala glamour. Still, it may be more sensible to lift a phrase from the Pitti press release and label the night "a site-specific performance," in which case the clothes should be regarded as merely one facet of an evening's elaborate entertainment.