Designer Haider Ackermann Receives Warm Welcome in Los Angeles

Janet Jackson and stylists Petra Flannery and Tanya Gill were on hand to peruse the Antwerp- and Paris-based designer's fall 2011 collection.

Fashion designer Haider Ackermann — one of the new darlings of the red carpet — had a whirlwind first visit to Los Angeles on Thursday to show off his fall 2011 collection to entertainment influencers and fashion stylists.

The Antwerp- and Paris-based designer’s trip started with a lunch at Cecconi’s with Saks Fifth Avenue’ Beverly Hills GM John Cruz — where various film producers like Keri Selig and agents like ICM’s Nicole Clemens recognized him and came over to his table to coo about his fall looks, which are built around long silk skirts in deep jewel tones, and wrapped leather jackets with unmatched sleeves.

Ackermann is known for his mix of avant garde and upscale, tough distressed leather mixed with soft malleable fabrics.

That night, Saks hosted a party for Ackermann at the Sunset Tower Hotel, where most of the winning looks from his fall collection – including ones that like the styles Janet Jackson and Tilda Swinton wore at Cannes ) -- were set up and lit on mannequins for stylists, editors and potential customers.

KCRW’s Jason Bentley played lush exotic tunes on the pool patio deck, as Ackermann was greeted by celebrity stylists Petra Flannery, Tanya Gill and George Kotsiopolous, L.A. Times fashion editor Booth Moore, jewelry designer Loree Rodkin, retailer Cameron Silver, philanthropist and couture collector Susan Kasden, and all manner of fashion biz well-wishers and big Saks customers.

But the piece de resistance is when loyal fan Jackson, in a black leather Alexander McQueen jacket, showed up at the end of the night, after texting the designer throughout his visit. He walked her through the fall collection, and she told him the future styles she’d like to debut.

Meanwhile Jennifer Aniston, David Spade, Jason Sudeikis and Kristen Chenoweth were all dining in the Tower Bar restaurant next door.  

Ackermann’s take on 24 hours in Los Angeles? “It’s so much more interesting, lush and stylish than I expected,” the designer told THR. “I am scheduled to fly to New York on Saturday morning – but I’m getting my staff to change the flight so I can stay a little longer. I met so many lovely people here.”