Monday, March 5, 2012


Posted by Melanie Rickey, Fashion Editor at Large

Its been a funny old weekend. While I am out in Paris my other half is getting written about in the press,  then by extension my personal life has been dragged into the tabloids too. Surreal to say the least. At this stage of Paris (i.e the very last leg of the month long fashion show caravan that began in mid February in New York - it all ends Wednesday), everything is getting surreal anyway.

Haider Ackermann's show this weekend (via

In fact it has got to the stage where I don't say hello to all the people I know anymore because, well, we see each other every few hours at shows, so a nod will do. Even with work colleagues I'm at the stage of necessary conversation only, and companionable silence is preferable. This is how it is for all of us doing this job right now.

Need I say more: Haider Ackermann kills it for Fall/Winter 2012

There were some truly magical fashion shows in Paris over the weekend. On Friday night Lanvin designer Alber Elbaz celebrated his 10th anniversary at the house with a raucous show and party, well covered by mainstream online media. Then, on Saturday morning, came Haider Ackermann. Regular readers of Fashion Editor at Large will know this is one of the few labels in the world that make me come over all fan girl. I profiled Haider a year or so ago for POP, (scroll down to the second page of the link to read the full profile) just before his current fashion fame, and knowing so much about him, gives me even more delight in his aesthetic and his success.

Over 15 years, I've seen a lot of fashion. Not as much as the true veterans of the runway circuit, but long enough to know when something is not just good, or great, but truly awesome in a shivers-up-the-spine and an emotional reaction in the pit of the stomach kind of way.


This happens at every Haider show; its a lot to do with the music he chooses, often a very moving classical piece; he loves a bit of Schubert... Here's an excerpt from my piece that explains:

What is happening with the cult of Haider now is that the American press and store buyer corps are obsessed with him. They love him; they sing his praises by releasing a torrent of lyrical prose to explain how they feel about his idiosyncratic clothes with their elongated silhouette, that music, those intense colours. Haider's is an aesthetic that splices North Africa and Belgium, but its the emotion they are reacting to as much as anything. Here is a little more background to explain.. 

Last night I was eating dinner in my hotel restaurant when I got chatting to a fellow solo diner, who happens to be a prominent American department store fashion director with an eye-watering budget to spend on clothes for her  all-American woman. She told me, "It is all about Haider. We believe he is the man setting the fashion agenda for the way American women want to dress. The nipped jackets, long tube skirts, opulent fabrications and his vivid colours - the pumpkin, dark purple, russet - are pretty much the template for how we will move forward. Plus he is influencing a swathe of designers who are following his every move.." 

We talked on, I was enthralled by the power a buyer and director of a large store group such as hers has, and with the simplicity of how such a seemingly complex and multi-layered vision like Haider's could be rendered so simple and commercial.

Haider Ackermann (via The Daily) 

Until now Haider Ackermann has been the insiders secret; but if the current spike in interest follows through beyond the current hype come Autumn 2012, he could begin to reach the critical mass of his potential audience. That I would very much like to see. 

What do you think of Haider Ackermann's work?

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