"I just think Haider is completely out of this world – supersonic, amazing. He just takes people's breath away. He goes somewhere that is out of modern fashion. It's a very sensual palette that feels like it comes from painting, it comes from the earth. He really is the most reliable thing there is out there," said Tilda Swinton after the Haider Ackermann show, looking resplendent in a burgundy silk dandy suit from the current season. Ackermann may be relied upon for bringing the audience to their feet in rapturous applause but that doesn’t mean he’s repeating himself. If his previous collections have felt like they were a dreamer’s vision, an intangible sort of beauty that brings tears to your eyes but you find yourself struggling to imagine how to tie all those beautiful knots or drape all that sumptuous fabric, then his latest collection brings you back down to earth.
Perhaps I was just in a mood where I didn't want to twist everything around – I wanted to be more loose
It was as simple as Ackermann looking outside of his window and seeing autumn. As Frank Sinatra crooned 'Autumn Leaves' on the soundtrack, we could really see ourselves crunching through some leaves in the opening looks of loden green wool cropped jackets, black pencil skirts and then more dramatic skirts that flare out from that much-emphasised waist out into triangular fins. These are the result of Ackermann’s precision in origami-esque construction so that even the most dramatic of shapes never looked clunky, even in the thickest of leathers. Straight up and down coats in shantung silk and wool, high waisted trousers and a simple shift dress with a hint of 'flou' were the down-to-earth, just-the-ticket items that root this collection more so than previous ones. However when autumn really kicked in with a remarkable palette building that graded from deep brown to saffron orange and cinnamon wools to the copper-y tones in the shantung silks and then finally to a claret red and cobalt blue, as Swinton says, you really were left breathless.
These are the result of Ackermann’s precision in origami-esque construction so that even the most dramatic of shapes never looked clunky, even in the thickest of leathers
"Perhaps I was just in a mood where I didn't want to twist everything around – I wanted to be more loose," mused Ackermann after the show. There was definitely a languid looseness in the silhouette but Ackermann exercised a great degree of control over the shapes, curving the sleeves and the backs to an exacting degree, pinpointing to the waist with that draped shantung silk and shaping voluminous hooded capes to look graceful rather than cumbersome. The introduction of the leather waister belts helped define those precise shapes even more. Ackermann played a delicate balancing act of pitting draping against tailoring, hard against soft, dream against reality, which leaves you to wonder what new highs can Ackermann reach in the future.