“A handsome woman.” Not feeling the compliment, ladies? Allow Haider Ackermann to change your minds.

The designer’s riveting collection celebrated that genre of unfussywoman to exquisite effect. “I love to talk about handsome women,”Ackermann said after the show. “There is a duality. They were lost andthey were on their way. It feels like they were walking forever on thosehighways. And the clothes are tripping and falling and fainting, and Ithink that’s a beautiful mood.”

Vague backstory aside, this wasreally about beautiful clothes delivered in Ackermann’s artfullayerings, even as he continued the relative simplification he startedfor fall. It was anchored in tailoring, most looks featuring a leanjacket with narrow lapels that showed Ackermann to be a savvy student —but not mimic — of Saint Laurent.

One of the hallmarks ofAckermann’s work is that it looks genuinely new, inclusive of referencebut free of retro. His perfectly cut jackets were worn over diaphanousskirts or pants, and sometimes both, the former worn over the latter.While some such long dresses were mere veils of chiffon, others hadskirts finely pleated for linear volume and graceful movement.

Ackermann worked in black played against high-shine incarnations ofrich, dark tones — bronze, sapphire, purple. Yet he mixed in shots ofwhite, in both tailoring and a gem of a wide schmatta over pants.

And as if to answer past criticism that his pilings can turn toocomplicated, he interjected two moments of pure minimalism: along-sleeve off-the-shoulder gown and a strapless jumpsuit, both inblack. These didn’t seem out of place, but played beautifully into themesmerizing whole.

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