Haider Ackermann is one of those rare designers who actually measure up to the sudden new attention they're getting. As opposed to other designers who seem to let the hype go to their head and seem to think they don't have to work as hard as they used to once they have it, Ackermann's work has steadily improved, and considering that he was good before the attention that's saying something. This season, compared to the languid glamour and subtle exoticism of Spring, Ackermann went more structured. Two of the features that he's added to his signature leather/suede/wool jackets were undulating folds with concentric rows of top stitching or layered peplums that could be unzipped at the waist to fold towards the rear. The overall effect of the fluid folds in front and the more jagged, almost obi-like folds in back was of a giant, poisonous flower in bloom on a forest floor. The collection was beautiful in the textures that were mixed as well, most impressively in the intricately laser cut leather that was so delicate it looked liable to fall apart, like beautifully decomposed lace. Perched atop a narrow bottom half that included Ackermann's signature wraith-like skirts and leather leggings, the tops were like sculptures displayed on pedestals.
Technically I think this is probably his most impressive collection yet. The folding, curling shapes that are the focal point of the collection are really a marvel to behold. And the overall look is, as always, calmly beautiful and sensual in that way that's become his signature. But calmness and tranquility aside, I think these are some of the most extreme clothes Ackermann has ever shown, at least of the collections that I've seen. Somehow though the shapes aren't completely overwhelming. They don't look like architectural experiments grafted onto a body. the effect is more organic than that. While I wish there was a bit of color in here, like the touches of saffron, indigo, sky blue and blood red that have highlighted his most recent collections, I'm willing to overlook that the palette doesn't stray from Haider's signature neutrals. The clothes on their own are simply that good.
all photos from style.com