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Armani Conquers China, Chastises the Pope June 01st, 2012 @ 11:53 AM



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Haider Ackermann’s Deconstructed Delicacies

Godfrey Deeny
October 02nd, 2010 @ 11:59 AM - Paris

Haider Ackermann is a Colombian-born, Antwerp, Belgium-trained designer whose singularly exotic collections have become must-sees for serious fashion aficionados, as was his latest packed-out display staged on the damp Paris morning of Saturday, Oct. 2.

At first sight, Ackermann’s clothes seem wildly complicated. He has a mad scientist’s mind that can cut and twist and reduce, for example, a man’s tuxedo, so that it ends up becoming a halter neck mini top. It looked great, as did his remodeled leather biker jackets that seem to float off the shoulders or the trench coats that flared like huge petals. Though his mind seems to work in a rarefied space, fortunately the results are usually beautiful, as were most of these clothes. Ackermann knows how to swaddle a woman in an arty elegance with mini jackets that hang just so or in pirate pants that are flattering, not farcical.

He is such an assured designer, he mingles in scores of visual references – obi belts, Geisha knots or Sumo straps – but never literally so, always filtered into a constructive part of each garment. Ackermann is still something of an insider’s story – but very much the right insiders. His front row was packed with the best possible buyers from Browns of London, Corso Como Milan, Lane Crawford in Hong Kong and a regiment of department store executives.

Three months ago, Ackermann staged his first ever men’s show in Florence, and many of those ideas filtered into this collection – a Japanese pirate-meets-rocker sensibility, patchwork fabrics from India and pajama pants. Even his finale of sensual tuxedo looks owed a debt to his Florentine moment.

That said, Ackermann’s clothes are a demanding wear – his cutting is spectacular, though so revealing they sometimes demand a model’s body to work. And, for such a poetic designer, his shows are strangely stilted and slow moving. These are minor quibbles perhaps, as Ackermann clearly has the potential to become a major league designer and household name, a talent who could direct his own house and a famed global label. Whether or not he ever does so remains the question. He is knocking on the door of greatness, one the fashion jury expects to open, though it has not quite just yet.

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Fashion Wire Daily: The Last Word in Fashion

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