The invite to Haider Ackermann's menswear collection - his debut on the Paris schedule, following a one-off show in Pitti a few years back - was a hand-written note from the designer himself on a plain sheet of white paper. It was undoubtedly the simplest, most effortless invitation of the season - nonchalant just like the collection it announced.
It takes some skill to make fabrics and finishes as opulent and traditionally luxurious as duchesse satin, silk and jacquard look understated, but Ackermann had managed it. Was it by casting models covered in tattoos? Or was it simply because this was an intensely personal show (Ackermann took his bow in a look almost identical to those worn by his models)? Either way, his Parisian bad boys strolled through the venue - a aptly minimal, stark space given the invite - like a gang of Victorian pickpockets, at ease in their slouchy finery. Any hints of stiffness or pomp were softened and modernised, so trousered embroidered with emerald silk dragons were gathered at the bottom and cut with a drop crotch to resemble tracksuit pants, while a black blazer was updated with a chunky zip fastening to allow it to envelope and hug the body. Ackermann's collections always have an air of the elegant misfit, but this season he'd created a man with such a unique spirit that it was impossible not to want to explore his world and find out more. That's exactly what Ackermann seemed to have been doing when creating the collection - you got the sense this was his fantasy man, the gentleman he'd like to be. This was a collection for dreamers.