Haider Ackermann Womenswear A/W11

The Belgian designer hit another level of greatness with a sublimely executed collection

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There are rarely any tear-shedding moments at fashion shows, especially tears of happiness but a good handful in the audience of Haider Ackermann were blinkin their eyes away by the end of the show, which started off in the heaviest of silence and ended with a rousing applause. This is testament to the fact that finally after a build up of consistently beautiful and thought-provoking collections, finally the crème de la crème of the fashion world all get it and understand that Ackermann is a master when it comes to seducing an audience with clothes.

His methods of seduction were on full display here where silence turned into Leonard Cohen’s  ‘A Thousand Kisses Deep’, a song so fitting for the clothes we saw. High priestess-esque black coats belted at the waist trailed slowly as blocks of white were slowly introduced until a belted white robe that was crisply regal went past us. The tuxedo lapels mixed with Ackermann’s particular take on kimono-wrap jackets and coats then ensued in leather, a material he knows how to get full impact out of. A sensual fluidity came with the satin dresses that could have been a haphazardly draped ultra-long sash but we knew it was all strategically placed on the body.

The deconstructed obi belts of last season were now wide croc ones standing away from the body at times. Ackermann’s superb colour sensibility erupted at the combination of jewel tones that were never flashy and glinted at you in silk, satin, with expert draping, twisting and tucking at play here to get every ensemble looking like the most natural way these fabrics should fall on a body. It felt like a full-blown culmination point of Ackermann’s body of work, one that finally had everyone firmly and staunchly rooting for him.

Dazed Digital: How did your woman change from last season?
Haider Ackermann
: She’s less open I think and slightly more reserved. She has a more masculine attitude towards himself. There’s a fragile force in the clothes.

DD: You played with the belts again that gave the clothes a structure and pulled everything in – what was the thinking behind it?
Haider Ackermann:
Aesthetically, it’s to give the clothes a three-dimensional form. It’s all about fragility and it’s not as hard as you might think.

DD: How do you manage to surpass each collection and hit new heights with your aesthetic?
Haider Ackermann:
You simply don’t think. You just do. You just continue the same work. You sing the same song with a different melody that’s all.

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