PARIS–What happened to you Acne—you used to be cool? Fortunately, nothing terrible. Acne remains very cool indeed, in that austere, handsome, but I’m-still-gonna-dance-to-Robyn-like-I-just-drank-20-Red-Bulls kind of way. But they’ve also grown up some, too.
As we waited for the show, the last of the season, Abba was pumped into the lobby. Abba. Not Robyn or Lykke Li, or Jens Lenkman, but Abba, which is older and from another time, but everyone secretly loves nonetheless. Considering the collection, I think this a masterstroke. A refined, fun, very Swedish way to say “Come, one, judge us. I dare you not to like this.”
The show started, not with the jeans that have defined the brand, but with over-long overcoats. The boys walked down the runway looking like they’d just inherited their dad’s jacket, and could not give a shit if you thought it looked silly. (The only one of these oversize numbers that really did it for me was the giant navy duffle, fit for a sailor or a schoolboy, attached only by its first toggle so that the grey cashmere sweater, white oxford and jean0cut trousers could still have their moment in the sun.) These were followed by suits; cold silhouettes produced by a devastating charcoal grey and black single-buttons with unapologetically thin shawl collars. Another dashing business look was jet-black and double breasted, offering peaked lapels and an unrelenting seriousness.
But the kids are alright and they had their turn with crew-neck jersey knits (printed with playful designs like Rio de Janeiro, Sweden), on top of respectable oxford shirts, their front panels rounded off in a subtle turn. These shirts kept sticking out, under sweaters with separate collars (on top of other sweaters), and even under other shirts. It was sneaky, and delightful, like a joke remembered all evening and then recalled when you wake up in his bed.
And that’s really what this collection said to me. It’s not a departure, it’s just the Acne guy being mature, or playing at being mature. He’s having sleepovers, he’s going to business interviews, but he’s still a boy at heart.
**Photos by Imaxtree.