#SuzyPFW: Nature Or Natural?
Haider Ackermann: Body Shapes
There was no fuss, nothing fancy – just outfits tracing the narrow bodies, shoes flat and narrow, hair shorn close to the head.
“I wanted the concentration to be on the clothes and beautiful faces – and laser-cut sharpness but with sensuality, trying not to be hard in between,” said Haider Ackermann backstage after a show that kept his sense of subtle colour but had elements of surprise.
This season, a rich Bordeaux red slithered over the body, appearing subtly with black or white, then fading to cream, pale yellow and a rain-washed sky blue. These shades were for slim, tailored clothes, cut close to the body, but with fabrics that would flow, rather than cling.
The accent was on cut – meaning almost every outfit was slit somewhere – but never in a vulgar way. A narrow strip would be open down the front of a jacket or straight cut at the back. Even more obvious openings were on a top that was twisted and turned but never looked as though they were there for sexual exploitation.
It all gave the collection a sporty fillip, but the line no longer followed the limpid looseness of the designer’s earlier years. It was rather as though fine tailoring had been melted on the body and Haider had played games with visible skin.
At the heart of the show was modern tailoring, literally with a twist in the drapes and shapes of the upper part. With only a couple of slender, long dresses, the designer had opted for a masculine silhouette that embraced the female body.
Junya Watanabe: Nurturing Nature
By his own terse standards, Junya Watanabe was positively chatty back stage.
“Nature – using Marimekko fabric when the motif is nature,” said the Japanese designer, who was referring to the Finish company that brought its fresh, youthful innocence to clothing and especially home wear in the 1950s and 1960s.
Junya’s only change of pace for spring/summer 2018 was not with the bold, flat almost childlike prints, but with the way he used them in asymmetric panels, ruching and puffs that brought the two-dimensional garments into three.
A mix of past and resent meant that Junya kept his beloved punk hairstyles, so that the innocent, patterned dresses were topped with spikes at menacing angles from the head. Sneakers were at the opposite end.
It all seemed a bit too much – but not in any dramatic way. It was just hard to believe, in a digital age when patterns can be copied in a heartbeat, that these bold pieces had modern relevance.
Yet the designer was smart enough to team the patterns on a skirt with a sporty, white jacket or a coat patterned with rhythmic squares. They – and narrow stripes – seemed more convincing in this digital age. But Junya was determined to focus on nature, which he did with a camouflage print that suggested a green garden rather than a conflict zone.