Haider Ackermann has become one of the shows I consistently look forward to during Paris fashion week, and that mainly has to do with the fact that he consistently makes clothes that leave me breathless. I know that sounds like your typical melodramatic fashion hyperbole, but it's true. There's always something in his collection, be it an idea, a look or a single piece that stops me in my tracks, so to speak.
I don't know for sure what was going through Ackermann's mind while he was working on his Spring Summer 2011 women's collection, but if I were to go by what he showed it would seem that he had sex on the brain. Almost all of the looks he sent out onto his runway appeared as if they were either in the midst of falling off or as if they'd been hastily thrown back on and as a result there were copious amounts of skin on display, whether it was a neckline plunging down to the navel, a back that's completely cut out, or a skirt slashed open over the hip and up the leg. The double whammy of clothes that appear to be barely hanging onto the body and glimpses of naked flesh definitely gave the collection a bit of an erotic charge. The hints of kimono dressing, seen most prominently in ribbons tied and bunched into half-tied obi-like bows, as well as the few striped silk pieces that recall men's pajamas only added to the collection's overriding sense of elegant seduction and déshabillé.
I'm absolutely in love with this collection, as I have been with all of Haider's work for a couple of years now. Something about this one in particular feels more forceful, more assertive than I would normally think of his work being. You can see that in the colors, those bold splashes of crimson, yellow, emerald, cobalt, turquoise and purple that were used as a contrast to black. But you can also see it in the sometimes graphic way the clothes are cut. Those few skirts that are slashed along the hip, or the tops that look like a sliced up tuxedo jacket are a good example of that. Those qualities give this collection an entirely different spirit than what I've come to expect from Ackermann. It's still 100% in keeping with what he does best. Bright color aside there's no way you would mistake this for anybody else's work. One thing that's bothering me though is the shade of green that was used for a few looks. I'm generally not a huge fan of green, although I can tolerate it sometimes, but that particular shade is a huge turn off. I wouldn't have included it and I probably wouldn't have included the single turquoise dress either, but mostly because it's just kind of random among the other colors. Other than that this is yet another beautiful offering from Mr. Ackermann, which is exactly what I've come to expect from him.
all images from style.com