Imagine that you’re in a large, cavernous room with a single pathway brightly illuminated. Everything on either side of the pathway is completely dark. There is no sound. No rustling papers. No wind. Nothing. Quiet. Then, you hear footsteps. Coming toward you is a young woman clad in a long brown overcoat that almost reaches the floor. Loose, masculine tailored wool pants and knit sweater in the exact same color give her a monochrome look. On her head is a matching knit cap … or turban; you’re not sure which. She walks past you staring blankly as she dissolves into the blackness. Then, there’s another …
Welcome to Haider Ackerman’s fall/winter 2014 fashion show. Unlike every other runway show in town this week, where music sets a tempo and emotional basis for a collection, Ackerman gives us silence. Eery. Unsettling. The kind of feeling that makes it difficult to sit still in one’s seat.
What Ackerman shows us this season is a sense of very subdued refinement. No flash. No bang. No glitz. Even easy on the glamour. His largely monochrome looks are perfect for that dark winter mood. While he doesn’t wholly stay with a black palette, it is the darkest of browns, greys, green, and purple that he brings to the runway this season. No muss. No fuss. Just good, solid daywear that will keep one warm and looking good.
Haider does take a significantly more masculine approach to his silhouettes this season. Not only are the trousers typically more full (there are a few extreme exceptions to that), but so are the sweaters and dresses, most of which are done in the heaviest wool he could possibly find. There are a few leather pieces in this collection, and that is where looks are more fitted and tight, but overall Ackerman goes for a more casual elegance with plenty of room.
We see a fair amount of layering in this collection, but not overly so. When he uses the technique, it is generally what one would expect: a jacket over a sweater or dress. Only twice does he give us that “bunched up” belted look of multiple pieces thrown together. His silhouette may be loose and flowing, but it is simultaneously sleek. Haider seems to like the natural plunging neckline of a man’s blazer and continues using that cut even in some of the sweaters. There are some single-piece looks that aren’t really jumpers but go more in that direction than any other. On those, he utilizes more of an extreme turtleneck, bringing it right up under the chin. One one sweater, it almost appears that the model’s face is about to be engulfed by wool.
My only concern with this collection comes with the severe amount of very heavy wool used. While these clothes will be great for staying warm in drafty environments, one will have to exercise some care to not get wet. With this much heavy wool, it is inevitable that getting caught in a rain storm will leave one smelling a bit like … well, wet sheep. Such is a small price to pay for looking good, though. Carry an umbrella.
Haider Ackerman is a very warm, very refined collection for this season. Women who have difficulty staying warm during the winter months will especially like all that he has to offer. No doubt, this should be a very popular collection when it hits stores. And no, you don’t have to keep quiet when you shop.