As pointed out in the recent men's issue of Interview, Haider Ackermann is having a moment. Since debuting his first collection in 2002, the design talent has boasted a small but devoted following but within the last few seasons, the larger fashion crowd has finally begun to catch on. The presentation of his womenswear pre-collection and S/S 11 menswear debut was undoubtedly a moment and I consider myself so fortunate to have witnessed it. It was a visual feast packed full of surprises. Memories of it still excite me today. Ackermann hosted a lavish evening of fashion, performance and celebration in the deserted Palazzo Corsini on the edge of the Arno river in Florence. In a wonderfully unique combination of the baroque surroundings and the true bohemian spirit of Haider, guests enjoyed a champagne reception and exotic fruits, followed by a piano concert and then fashion parade in a chandelier lit courtyard.
Entitled “A Carte Blanche named "Opium", the spectacular showcase was a romantic homage to a travelling woman and her man alone in the deserted Palazzo, channeling a gypsy spirit of North Africa. The menswear itself was a complete surprise. With a womenswear line known for sensual, attenuated androgyny we expected more of the same for his debut menswear offering. Instead we were treated to an array of embroidered textiles and textures reminiscent of a grungier Dries Van Noten. With so much of fashion shifting towards a form of minimalism, Haider Ackermann's embroidery-encrusted jackets and patched jacquards were a pleasant surprise. Ackermann used fabrics and textiles that I wanted to reach out, manhandle and steal. Despite being universally applauded, in December the in demand designer announced that he would not produce another collection until he felt suitably compelled.'Creativity cannot be forced into a time frame' he uttered and now...we wait longingly for the next instalment. However, as we (im)patiently wait we can, thanks to a small selection of key stores, buy in to Haider Ackerman's male wardrobe. Earlier this week I popped in to Hostem as this enclave on Shoreditch’s Redchurch Street now boasts a well selected rail of the designer's debut. It was great to take a closer look at the collection to remind myself that I for one would like to join Ackermann's nomadic tribe...
Just a few of the pieces that caught my wanting eye inside Hostem.
Having been fortunate enough to watch the debut presentation in person, it was an absolute pleasure to inspect the finished designs on the shop floor.