Sunday, 2 October 2011

She walks in Beauty - Haider Ackermann s/s 2012

Ackerman quite literally wanted poetry in motion.

For this collection he revived Lord Byron and the 18th century romantics, lapping the models in cravat silk dressing gowns, so opulent, you could smell the opium.

He personified my favourite Byron poem, She Walks In Beauty, knotting the poet's tortured soul around the object of his desires, creating a stark masculine/feminine antithesis. It all began with aggression; the tailoring was oversized and rugged and ran away with the dandy theme. Smoking jackets were thrown across models, hanging over their bodies with complete disregard for the feminine form. With hands in pockets, stomping in brogues they oozed testosterone, whilst you held on to your seat, anticipating a blasé flash of breast.

But then came his counterpart with draping that caressed her curves like liquid and veiled with sheer organza, existing just enough to breathe over her skin. And just like that she was gone again, lost in a crowd of 21st century Byrons in rock-star buckles, a sharp palette of eastern jewel tones and a disorientated mix of 1970s prints.

Effervescent body-con nudes recalled the poem's sweet protagonist, as the fabric billowed ever so slightly with a virginal grace. And, again, this didn't last long; as the poems imagery of darkness pulled the models in with black hour-glass jackets and peplum waists that could have walked easily into a great Dior show. Although the colours were bright and rich, they had a bitterness when olives overlapped silver and bronze, to evoke the obscurity of Byron's psyche.

In his finale showstopper, Ackermann dressed Natasha Poly in a moonlight silver gown with wide braces to cover her modesty and lame pleats that hit her waist and fell to the floor. It was flawless.

Sometimes a concept can overwhelm a collection, suffocating the commercial selling point. But Haider Ackermann makes you think "fuck it", you want it anyway -wearable or not.

She walks in beauty, like the night
Of cloudless climes and starry skies;
And all that's best of dark and bright
Meet in her aspect and her eyes:
Thus mellowed to that tender light
Which heaven to gaudy day denies.

One shade the more, one ray the less,
Had half impaired the nameless grace
Which waves in every raven tress,
Or softly lightens o'er her face;
Where thoughts serenely sweet express
How pure, how dear their dwelling place.

And on that cheek, and o'er that brow,
So soft, so calm, yet eloquent,
The smiles that win, the tints that glow,
But tell of days in goodness spent,
A mind at peace with all below,
A heart whose love is innocent!

1 comment:

  1. I'm so excited to have found your blog, it's so pretty! Love the easiness and chic it has!