Haider Ackermann: A stand-out show

His starting point this season? ‘Well, it’s all about falling leaves, isn’t it… Autumn.’

So said the softly spoken Haider Ackermann backstage after his stellar show – a simple idea with powerful results that demonstrated a mastery of cut and colour and catapulted him into a league of his own.

He has been developing his ‘look’ for years now, carefully refining that sinuous silhouette, the blade-sharp cuts and palette that is so unmistakably ‘Haider’. And looking back at the autumn / winter 2012/13 season so far, you can spot his influence all over the place. All those peplums for a start, and the way designers have thrown fearless colour at the catwalk. (Remember Ackermann’s jewel brights in duchess satin last season?)


But the statement he wanted to make this time was how wearable he has become. He did this by opening and closing the show with the Haider look paired down to its absolute essence. The first nipped-waist tailored jacket, belted, with ‘that’ firm shoulder and a simple shin-length stretch black skirt with sharp heeled and strictly laced boots, spoke volumes. And even more so with the final simple grey dress that was slit up the front and cut out at the neck with a long V. Now, said the collection, it is time to buy Haider Ackermann, not just marvel at his skill.


So for every exit that wrapped and twisted, curled and draped in shades that quite literally resembled the lifespan of a fallen leaf, from deep green to copper yellow to russet, red and brown, there was a pair of simple high waist trousers, a narrow leather coat, a straightforward trouser suit, a zippered leather jacket or a silk tunic. Uncomplicated and with more ease maybe but still unquestionably Haider.

What was also striking, with the Dior rumour mill in overdrive, was how like Raf Simons’ last Jil Sander show in Milan, Ackermann proved equally gifted at producing that rare thing – an emotional response. So when the audience cheered and some leapt to their feet, it really did make you pray that the powers that be at Dior were watching.

At any rate, Ackermann and Simons are at this point in the season, by far and away the two designers who have the most to say.

To see the full collection click here

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