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Like a romantic letter, fashion designer Haider Ackmann pays homage to the designer by reinventing the iconic Jean Paul Gaultier looks he fell in love with. He takes the codes of the Enfant Terrible and translates them into his own universe, a disruptive one, devoid of grand ostentation and approaching minimalism and conceptual art. True to his structured style, Ackermann offers us a disturbingly elegant and mysterious vision.

4 years ago, Jean Paul Gaultier started this initiative in which each year they invite renowned designers to create unique couture collections that reinterpret the vision and universe of the brand. First was Chitose Abe (Creator of Sacai), then Glenn Martens (Y/Project) and Olivier Rousteing (Balmain) who have also participated in this project.This year the proposal went to Haider Ackmann, who said "He just told me to surprise him, that he trusted me and wanted to be sure that the collection was not a rehash. He asked me to experiment.” The designer, w is beloved by celebrities like Tilda Swinton and Timothée Chalamet, describes the collection in three words "feathers, purity and calm.”

The collection, framed in a powder blue and white space, was presented last night amidst an exaltation of expectations, with the presence of personalities such as Catherine Deneuve, Rossy de Palma, Doja Cat and a battalion of celebrities and friends who were accompanying an excited Jean Paul Gaultier.

Ackermann's aesthetic stands out in the collection, which abstracts the artifice of the garments to frame them in a sober, elegant and architectural beauty. We find exquisite and sensual pieces of tailoring and evening dresses, with geometric cuts, some plagued by asymmetries and others with sublime pleats. Pleats are very important in this collection, and we also find them in dresses that are very sculpted around the bust and with flounces. One of the star pieces is a jacket with huge recreated parrot feathers. Special emphasis is placed on the bustiers, revisiting them through an impeccable construction. The contrast between the more sophisticated garments and others with a sportier cut stands out. The colour moves between opposites from solemn black to the most innocent of whites, with bursts of orange, green, blue, purple, yellow and metallics.

Haider Ackmann makes a nod to the old haute couture shows through the cocoon coat, one of the most recognisable silhouettes of Cristobal Balenciaga. The last part of the show featured six architectural dresses that transformed the models into sculptures, and ended with an innocent white total look. There are fantasy details and oversized elements but everything is perfectly contained in an elegant equation of proportions. And in support of the Woman, Life, Freedom movement from Iran he played Shervin Hajipour's song Baraye.

Alvaro Bochert
Isidore Montag /

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