The swell of intrigue around Haider Ackermann is not to be interrupted. His spring collection dazzled with bold color, powerful grace and what looked like a moment of self-reflection. Oversize tailored jackets with bunched sleeves and popped collars over matching drop-crotch pants that ballooned then tapered, was like seeing an exaggerated version of Ackermann’s own personal style. He did a similar men’s collection for Pitti Uomo a year or two back.
In his words, the look was “rockabilly barons,” punctuated by oxford mules and the models’ hair worn swept up into pompadours that were artfully tousled just like the suits. The cuts were based on traditional men’s wear, but the fabrics were not. A spectacular colorist, Ackermann worked in thick, shiny silk akin to shantung and geometric brocades in striking jewel tones — deep purple, crystal blue, persimmon, chartreuse and magenta — laced with gold and silver for an iridescent glow.
The heft of the upholstery fabrics was offset by sheer silks, such as regal trumpet skirts and dramatically draped veils. Cross-body scarf effects, the rich paisleys and madras brought to mind traditional India dress. But asked if that was a direct influence, Ackermann deferred. “It’s always the same story,” he said backstage after the show. “It was all about a person who travels all over, bringing her wardrobe with her.”
Another element in this narrative is Yves Saint Laurent. Ackermann is an acolyte, and his spring tributes included a completely sheer tank and skirt in Majorelle Garden blue, and the finale dress: two vertical pewter lamé strips that attached to a long knife-pleated skirt. They would make the maestro proud.