There is an elephant in the room. Following the dismissal of the disgraced John Galliano from Dior, two men have been the subject of intense Chinese whispers. One of them being Galliano, of course, the other is a certain Haider Ackermann. Not a household name in terms of designers, but a culmination of Karl Lagerfeld pretty much anointing Ackermann as his apparent heir to the Chanel throne, calling him “the perfect replacement”, and the voluminous void vacated by Galliano have certainly allowed the spotlight to be angled directly at Haider Ackermann; they are calling him a “young Yves Saint Laurent” in Paris.
Haider Ackerman’s background is a cultural cocktail that I am positively envious of; he was born in Santa Fe de Bogota, Colombia 1971 and was adopted by a French family at the tender age of nine months. His adoptive father was a cartographer and this entailed a great deal of travel, mostly to North-Eastern Africa and France before settling down in the Netherlands. During his pre-pubescent years, he stumbled upon the designs of Yves Saint Laurent, which inspired a fascination within Ackermann that manifested itself and propelled him to study fashion at the Royal Academy of Arts, Antwerp, Belgium in 1994. Upon completing three years of study, he ironically worked as an intern for John Galliano in Paris, before working for a host of designers including, Bernhard Willhelm, Patrick Van Ommeslaeghe and as a stylist at Mayerline.
One year into the new millennium, he launched his eponymous self-funded first collection in Paris for Autumn/Winter. His 2002 collection impressed the haute couture leather specialists, Ruffo Research, who appointed him as head designer and commissioned two collections of him that would run along the work of his own line.
With the release of each collection, Ackermann would amass a few disciples here and there, but his Autumn/Winter 2011 collection(images below) was absolutely seminal and was the one that catapulted him into a whole different echelon. It comes across as a collection with a masculine aesthetic but there are facets that allow the wearer to retain a femininity and evoke sensuality . There are collisions of texture such as, leather, satin, suede and silk all beautifully betrothed without overwhelming and clashing each other. The pieces are achingly beautiful and reek of an untold decadence and luxury exclusive to the fortunate few. I certainly experienced a coup de foudre while upon viewing the collection. Haider Ackermann is availabe online through The Corner, Antonioli, Luis Viaroma and LN-CC .
Images via Style.com