Happiness is to be found when in pursuit of it, in the soothed expectation, on the way, not only upon the arrival. Accepting detours, just going the way, which is anyhow not this obvious to anyone.
Thomas Bettinelli

Happiness is just a hairflip away.
Chris Crocker


"The way the system works now, you see the clothes, within an hour or so they're online, the world sees them. They don't get to a store for six months. The next week, young celebrity girls are wearing them on red carpets. They're in every magazine. The customer is bored with those clothes by the time they get to the store. They're overexposed, you're tired of them, they've lost their freshness".
Tom Ford



Fashion is the myopic bubble to end all myopic bubbles. When you're in it, it's everything. But even the most Mr MaGoo of us felt that there were bigger transition stories in the world today than Haider Ackermann's inauguration as creative director of Berluti. In the geopolitics of fashion, Berluti is nowhere near the equivalent of the United States -but it is one of them. It is the only exclusively masculine fashion brand of LVMH, the largest luxury conglomerate superpower in this landscape. So, maybe Florida or Alaska ? The big task facing any new designer in an existing brand is how to manage the cage of the code while retaining their own individuality. For Haider Ackermann, deeply unusually, his task was opposite : for under the wonderful Alessandro Sartori, Berluti has since 2011 established fantastic credentials as an outrageously deep-reaching purveyor of technical savoir-faire. Mr Sartori's design instincts, however, are formal where Mr Ackermann's are born per se : he is a true designer of fashion whose aesthetic voice is particularly his own. Thus it was Berluti that needed to avoid getting caged here into an Ackermann code too far from its exquisite but subtle roots. The boy done well. On a black strafed plywood runway Haider Ackermann presented overtly conventional looks at the off : a camel coat was the first look, with pants -both were oh-God-yes-please, but just that, with no icing. The first hint of Ackermann as we know him was an eight-buttoned double-breasted narrow-lapeled suit in green -a hint of the sexy nomad pirate bad boy with off-kilter spectacles of the designer himself- worn over the narrowish high-cuffed pants that were the constant in this collection. Were I a buyer I'd have been rhapsodizing : in disjointedly speedy walks the models rolled forth in a symphonic demonstration of ultra-luxurious desirability. At the after-show party I spoke to Ackermann fanatics from Usher to Luka Sabbat, who all bore testament to the want-it-ness of this. The Haiderness was in the velvets, the bottle shades, the odd diagonal patching, and the nomad styling of the backpacks heaped with extra crocodile boots. Backstage Antoine Arnault, the driving force of this brand, said that Olga Berluti -its spiritual crucible- was heavily into the idea of Ackermann replacing Sartori from the off. She was right. To use a foul phrase, there was synergy here. Haider Ackermann is a maverick, a dark force, but he is essentially liberal, too. He's the Bernie of menswear, just in a much finer jacket and in vintage Oliver Peoples spectacles. Berluti has a fine new commander in chief. Kudos.

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