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Show Report

Show Report: Haider Ackermann A/W 17 Menswear

by Lou Stoppard on 18 January 2017

Lou Stoppard reports on the Haider Ackermann A/W 17 show.

Lou Stoppard reports on the Haider Ackermann A/W 17 show.

It’s been a big week for tartan. When breaking Europe-friendly hearts at Lancaster House the day before Paris Fashion Week, 17 January, and setting her 12-point Brexit agenda, Theresa May sported her familiar Black Watch Vivienne Westwood suit - the same one she wore to launch her leadership bid, hence the argument it’s her lucky look. Comparisons to punk and Johnny Rotten were swift to follow - jokes were made, sighs were audible. Haider Ackermann also realises the power of tartan. Though blissfully shielded from the sense of impending doom that faces British designers due to the looming Brexit, he’s responding to the mood of the times in his own way. Punkish undertones are everywhere right now, unsurprising given that last year was the 40th anniversary of the music-cum-style movement. In Ackermann’s work, there’s always been an air of the bad boy or the outsider - his early menswear presentations felt like an ode to louche opium dens with all that billowing fabric and sumptuous layers. Today, things felt altogether more grown up - the show was longer, the trousers shrunken, the focus more formal - but that interest in the outsider remained. For A/W 17 he was a decadent dissenter, a formal punk. That sense of contraction ran through the collection, pieces seemed to morph from one thing to another, from one fabric to a new one. The effect was enhanced by the lighting, or lack of - the runway was so dark one could barely make out what was what. But good for Ackermann in mixing things up and keeping things vaguely avant-garde. He’s got a new gig now, at Berluti, where one imagines proceedings will be altogether more serious. It’s good to see his own line is staying just that little bit subversive - a bit sultry, a bit offbeat, a bit Rotten.

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