WAKING up in a Haider Ackermann dream must be a wonderful place to be – we stepped inside and caught a glimpse of it for the designer’s spring/summer 2015 collection.
It’s serene, and peaceful, controlled and light as air, which is exactly how the girls took to the catwalk this morning in a palette that wavered from white to pink to lilac but so gently that you would hardly tell.
Everything has a fluidity in the hands of Ackermann – the clothes appear in a perfect state of undress, belted as they are, slouched and ruched at the pocket or at the elbow. Here we got night dress styles – entirely in keeping with our dreamscape scenario – and dressing gown coats, gliding lace slips, plunge-front tuxedos, bare backs framed and exposed. Peplums were created through layers of ruffles that peaked out beneath his signature investment jackets – cinched and belted as always – and sheer chiffon sleeves slid off over hands for oversized, surreal effect.
This was one of Ackermann’s softest and most wistful collections yet but in that same breath he brought a shorter, younger silhouette and it was sharp through its focus, sexy in its subtlety.
Francesco Scognamiglio has been through his share of downs and ups lately. Losing a business partner, going it alone in a city notoriously difficult for fledgling independents, finding a new business partner. Tonight he was in the ascendant, with a collection of delicate, just a little bit dirty 1930s-inflected dresses. Long sleeves, bias-cut silk, below-the-knee hemlines, lots of boobies. Scognamiglio has never shied away from the nipple, and they were on proud display here. It’d be nice to see him address modesty-preserving lingerie at some point, but for the moment we’ll let the sheer factor slide. Why? Put simply, there was a lot of prettiness here, from baby-blue silk habotai numbers with almost ineffable lacy white embroideries to slightly more wholesome floral print styles overlaid with more of that exquisite lace. A white silk blouse worn with a stretchy black net skirt embroidered with shiny round silver studs roused the audience to spontaneous applause, a rare sound at this, or any, fashion week.
Best of all were the stretch tulle blouses worn with salopettes that formed a V over the breasts. That’s one way to deal with the see-through issue; they also showcased Scognamiglio’s skills as a tailor. The designer himself was most excited about the white tulle gown that Karmen Pedaru modeled at the end of the show. Appliquéd with lace and embroidered with crystals, it was a taste, he intimated, of a forthcoming couture collection.
Had Erdem been leafing through the pages of Joseph Conrad’s A Heart of Darkness? The show set was a huge, imposing forest and underneath the verdant vines Erdem proved that when it comes to creating clothes that women long to wear, he’s anything but green.
Erdem has been riffing on the sweet spot between beauty and darkness for a few seasons now and for spring / summer 15 he found the balance. Floor length gowns were the form here, tiered, sheer, richly embroidered with botanics, with just a smattering of separates. A tweed sleeveless top was best, styled in a contemporary way with a delicate bag shaped like a book slung across the body. The amount of embroidery was vast and any hint of OTT pomp was diluted with boyish flat shoes. The leaf and branch stitch work sat against windows of period conservatories stitched on to dresses, that and the high Victorian collars brought a classic, historic appeal to a collection that felt very right for now.