"We are all searching for a man to love. So it was about taking that road, with geometric lines to find that man," enthused Ackermann after the show. He's reluctant to give the whys and hows of his collections but so often, his work speaks for itself. This time round, the soundtrack of model turned actor Alvin 'Scott' Barnhill was intoning to us, "Some day he'll come along, the man I love. And he'll be big and strong, the man I love." The search for love has sartorially never been so well kitted out. This was a collection that asserted just about every Ackermann traits you can pull out from his previous work – the upturned collared mannish jackets, the belts that splay out rigidly like origami, the robes falling off the shoulders, the technical cinching of the waist and above all, the feeling that there is mystery and poetry abound in Ackermann’s clothes. Analyse what Ackermann is doing on a symbolic level at your peril. "I don’t even think about it. You just have those fabrics and you just do what you do. I do not intellectualise it. It's all happy accidents," he asserted when pressed on how he came up with the idea to turn to pattern instead of colour. In which case, we'll take the surface only and go with it. The introduction of geometric and op-art prints – the chevron stripe, the polka dot and a window pane check – added a dimension Ackermann's body of signature jacket, trouser and dress shapes that was unexpected and somehow, more down to earth than previous collection. The rich colours that have blown us away with their sumptuousness were replaced with equally rich textures instead – papery black silk, inky silk shantung, petrol blue mélange wool, sheer chiffon. Ackermann let the fabrics guide him and of course his shapes are already innate to him, with belted jackets, déshabillé robes, trailing slip dresses contrasted with drainpipe trousers forming the language that makes his vision so evocative. As much as it's tempting to rush back and dreamily talk about languid poetics when Ackermann presents his collections the way that he does, with as much ambiance and tension that there is, but at the end of the day, his clothes are rooted and propose joyful solutions to those that are on search for meaningful wardrobing.
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