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Visions of Sex and Militancy at Haider Ackermann

The sensual slouch with which Ackermann first entranced a fashion audience seemed an easy option by comparison with the rigorous, leggy discipline of these looks.
Haider Ackermann Autumn/Winter 2016 | Source: InDigital.tv
By
  • Tim Blanks

PARIS, France — Who wouldn't love to have their own gang? Certainly not Haider Ackermann. His last two collections, womenswear and menswear, have dressed tight little tribes, simmering with sex and violence. Hot, but a little on the obvious side. With his latest, he pared the whole thing back. "Standing straight."

That's what Ackermann wanted his women to be doing, their upright elegance an antidote to all the godawful idiocy wracking the world at large. (Did the last televised Republican debate really descend into a bitch-slap about the size of the Donald's appendage?)

Still, he didn’t totally shelve the militancy that has loaned an edge to his recent work. “We’re surrounded by visions of the military,” Ackermann said, by way of justifying the khaki in which his women were clad: the army jacket that topped lurex knit pants, the matching jacket and bustier, the soldier’s shirt — that Ackermann favourite Daiane Conterato wore over a green panne velvet skirt cut super-high on one thigh.

Yes, it was technically a dress, but the emphasis was on the leg, as it was in the rest of the show: limbs narrowed, elongated by witchy boots. If that meant the collection had no breadth, it certainly had a tightly focused depth.

The sensual slouch with which Ackermann first entranced a fashion audience seemed an easy option by comparison with the rigorous, leggy discipline of these looks. But how do you grow such a particular aesthetic?

That’s a question that’s been lobbed at Ackermann by his earliest boosters. It’ll undoubtedly be reassuring for him to see that reduction, rather than expansion, has yielded such positive results with his new collection.

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