comme des garcons' club kids take paris
"What's on the inside matters," Rei Kawakubo's club kids at Comme des Garçons reminded us on Friday in Paris, and the same could be said at Berluti where new house resident Haider Ackermann came out in full force.
As the red carpet pictures started rolling in from the Met Ball on the first Monday of May, the star of the show was nowhere to be seen. When Rei Kawakubo finally appeared on social media, courtesy of Phil Oh, the snapshot said a thousand words: clad in dark shades, a black skirt and a white leather jacket, the Comme des Garçons creator rushed past the lenses through an alternative entrance, her signature black bob blowing in the wind as she escaped the flashing lights of the celebrity circus unfolding outside. The ultimate designers' designer, it was hard to picture Kawakubo ever walking the red carpet leading into Art of the In-Between, the Metropolitan Museum of Art's exhibition honouring her Comme des Garçons legacy -- this being a person, who doesn't even feel a need to take a bow after her shows and bathe in the applause and recognition.
"There's something optimistic happening now in this world, so I wanted it to be smooth and very gentle, but very effortless -- not precious," he said backstage, in typical Ackermann-esque post-show phrasing. Being a classic tailoring brand, Berluti doesn't require the same acclimatisation from its designer as a fashion house with very defined codes would, and it leaves Ackermann with something of a blank canvas. He painted it with the romantic rock 'n' roll brush he handles so well, adding regal colours to slender tailoring he cross-dressed on a terrific cast of character models: boyfriend/girlfriend Jonas Glöer and Kiki Wilhelms were there, Henry Kitcher had a new platinum 'do a la Ackermann's BFF Tilda Swinton, elfin Willow Barrett sulked like a little prince, and lookalikes Stella Tennant and Finnlay Davis strode the courtyard of the Monnaie de Paris together in identical black leather coats and white satin trousers. "I like the intimacy of it," Ackermann noted.
His unmistakable aesthetic was all over the collection - not to mention one of his favourite emotive gong soundtracks - and it'll mean a spring/summer 18 season of enlightenment for the wealthy Berluti man. "I feel more free. The house has been supporting me so much. It's my story now, Berluti and I together," Ackerman reflected. "I'm at the service of the house." Indeed, what's on the inside matters.
Text Anders Christian Madsen
Photography Mitchell Sams