In what was surely one of Mary Katrantzou’s most directly wearable collections yet, the designer returned to cosmology and the world as a starting point – we saw elements of it two seasons ago to spectacular couture-like effect, before last season’s beef-up when it came to size, texture, proportion and play. But the designer has been drilling down into the MK DNA, what makes both her and her customer tick and finding the common ground between the two, especially of late when it comes to her pre-collections – and you could see all of this had been learnt from, instigated and translated into this collection.
The word she kept saying backstage was “light” and “desirable” – she’s always had the product, but now she’s refining it. “I wanted it to be enchanting and beautiful,” she said. There’s no doubting it was – who can say no to a shimmering little dress, a series of which she paraded out with to begin. They were microscopic in their sparkle and tied at the back or fluted in the sleeve. They were the ultimate sort of party dress with no potential pitfalls to put any shopper off.
She followed up with jewel tones for frilled and flounced numbers whose hips bloomed rose-shaped peplums. Tailoring too made an appearance – again here the emphasis was on being sharp and light. She noted that it had been about building upon structure in the past – here she seemed to be deconstructing it to just as beneficial effect.
The appeal of Haider Ackermann was summed up perfectly by a trio of women sat on his front row this morning. One was dressed in a full traditional Japanese kimono, to her right, a French beauty in a tailored mannish overcoat and next to her an arty ingenue in something blue, languid and draping.
These are the signatures of Ackermann and today he staked a claim on the season with a quiet brilliance. Checkerboard tweeds, boucle shot with glinting threads and skinny, silk spotty scarves provided the frisson – the Ackermann woman is elegant for sure, but she looks to the label for tasteful interpretations of texture which give her permission to express her creativity.
“She’s artistic and fashion forward,” said Ruth Chapman, the co-owner of MatchesFashion.com. “Even though it looks tricksy on the catwalk you split it up and it works. It’s just cool.”
Things did get a bit fussy at points, mainly around the waist where peplums, strapping and folds of fabric complicated an other wise elegant line. But that didn’t tip the balance of brilliance. Loose top-stitching on the waistband of tailored trousers was echoed in the occasional strand of white cotton thread that had been nonchalantly blown through the hair of the models – that was delicate and it was clever. As was the entire collection.
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.
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