Runway grace at Haider Ackermann

1st October 2011, Comments 0 comments

Plunged in darkness, the audience held its breath as the first models stepped out in spectacular silk black jackets shot with bronze, gold or plum; Haider Ackermann on Saturday offered Paris a moment of fashion grace.

Darling of the fashion world for his structured drapes, bold colour mixes and singular silhouettes, the French designer's ready-to-wear look for spring-summer 2012, unveiled midway through Paris Fashion Week, did not disappoint.

The opener jackets had their collars and cuffs turned up, paired with roomy silk pants pulled tight at the ankle, in glinting, shifting colour blends.

North African slippers were made of smooth leather or embroidered in gold, sometimes laced up.

"I tried to bring an extra dose of dignity to faces and body posture, and flat heels are part of that," the Colombian-born, 40-year-old designer told AFP backstage.

A vast inclined mirror at the rear of the room allowed an almost circular viewpoint over the procession of models, who filed past under the solemn gaze of an admiring front row, including Dior Homme designer Kris Van Assche.

Black, bright cobalt blue, sumptuous purples, bronze and red dominated the palette.

Jackets were pierced at the waist with shawls running through the gap and knotted at the front or rear.

Are they part of the garment? "You don't need to understand everything in life," smiled their creator from behind black beard and small round glasses.

Linen, leather, organza and chiffon took turns to the soundtrack of "Le Mepris," the classic Jean-Luc Godard movie starring Brigitte Bardot.

Hoods and suede jackets left the shoulderblades bare, giving way to long dresses in translucent layers.

One of these, all in silver, ran two wide straps across the bust, above a fine pleated metallic-looking skirt, totally fluid in its movement, that drew claps, gasps, and a "Bravo" such as is rarely heard at Fashion Week.

© 2011 AFP

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