The most talked about man in Paris right now isn’t John Galliano or even Kanye West, though I’m sure Kanye’s got his fair share of buzz, it’s Haider Ackermann. The Colombian-born, Belguim-based designer has been climbing the ranks as the next truly influential designer. This season’s show started with a quartet of oversized pantsuits paired with flat shoes and a devil-may-care attitude. Ackermann described this season’s inspiration as ‘Rockabilly Lord Byron’ with traditional menswear cuts, spectacular fabrics, and a jewel toned palette that just screamed luxury. He’s been in the spotlight of late as a possible successor to the helm at one of Paris’ influential fashion houses and even though he’s been pegged as too edgy to take the reins at Dior, 78-year-old Karl Lagerfeld has put him at the top of his short list should he ever wish to leave Chanel. This season’s collection was much more approachable, surely a conscious choice on Ackermann’s part, and will hush any remaining naysayers toting the one-trick-pony line about his innovative looks.
Heavy upholstery fabrics paired with sheer, draped silks added a sophisticated textural dimension that lifted the collection to a sensational place. The looks were wearable but not boring and filled with cultural references and innovative shapes, some of which could barely be seen from afar. Slivers of skin showing through a wrapped blazer incited the notion that all might not be as it seems with these garments. Who knows if Ackermann will take a spot at a major design house in the coming seasons but the spotlight is definitely on him he definitely delivered.