Just as a good draftsman must first draw the void, the genius of a clothing designer consists in weaving around the skin, showing the body, in a subtle, strategic, progressive way. “Undress me, but not right away,” sang Juliette Greco. Abyssal cleavages, vertiginous slits, micro-lobes, we have seen these approaches so often that their effect fades. What was sensual, racy, daring, now touches upon banality and boredom. We were in need of a spark to rekindle the stars in our eyes, and here it is, crackling through Haider Ackermann’s talent for design and unfolding in red silk, moiré appearing as if a theater curtain, all wrapped around Timothée Chalamet’s skin.
But what has Ackermann done? What kind of explosive did he put in his sewing machine so that at the last Venice Film Festival, the 79th, the frenzied crowd almost devoured Chalamet as he stepped out of the car and onto the red carpet? No doubt he remembered one of the most incandescent fashion moments in cinema when, playing the role of a modern Mata Hari in The Tall Blond Man with One Black Shoe, actress Mireille Darc, wearing a sober black dress with a turtleneck and long sleeves, suddenly turned around. The dress had no back: it left Darc’s back, a splendid, refined back at that, simply underlined by a golden chain which framed the tops of the buttocks with an incomparable elegance.