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Ackermann Has Arrived

March 6, 2011

Full disclosure: I hadn’t heard of Haider Ackermann until an hour ago, when I was poking around to see the latest shows and his immediately caught my eye. It was fitting, then, that Ackermann called this collection the one where his clothes were “stepping out of the shadows.” He’s been quietly building a fan base for the past few years, but if the name doesn’t sound familiar, be prepared. Ackermann seems slated to be the next Fashion Household Name. He already has the industry leaning forward in their seats, after Lagerfeld said Ackermann should be the designer that replaces him at Chanel when (or if) he ever retires. Now, his name’s being tossed around as a potential replacement for Galliano at Dior. (His dark romance seems more suited for Dior than Chanel, if you ask me.)

With even just a glancing look at his Fall ’11 collection, it’s obvious why Ackermann is so respected by two of the biggest houses in the industry. It was a stunning show full of elegance that could be the definition of “chic.” Then, you study each look a bit more closely and you start to notice how intricate the detailing and construction is, how much innovation and courage he’s showing. The show started out with minimalistic black ensembles, and then slowly built to a crescendo of beautiful complexity with rich jewel tones and remarkable draping. I loved his juxtaposition of knits and silks, the absurdly sexy cut-outs, and how a single twist of the fabric transformed a garment into something unique. Even the lapels were worth talking about with their dramatic jagged edges and contrasting materials.  There wasn’t a boring moment, not a single look you could blow right past. Now that he’s on my radar, I can’t wait to see what he’ll be up to next.

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