Each season, Acne designer Jonny Johansson builds on the idea of utilitarian daywear, taking it one step further away from those simple shapes.
But Acne is a retailer above all, and even when Johansson is creating garments with the artist Katerina Jebb—who used the archives of Paris’ fashion museum, Musée Galliera, to build prints created from scanned historical documents—the clothes have to sell. “For this collection we sought to make the invisible visible and the unwearable wearable,” he said in the show notes.
Johansson took what could be a cliched idea—think Gustav Klimt’s “The Kiss” stamped on a t-shirt—and made it sensible. The “print” in this case is a digital photograph of textured paper, which created an illusion of depth. At some points, as with a burgundy suit, it felt costume-y. At others, it added a bit of weirdness to an otherwise standard garment—like the yellow and blue satin gown—making it more unique (and appealing).
But Johansson’s most wearable—aka salable—pieces were the ones that gave patchwork a new feeling. The black overcoat with a chunk of electric blue metallic leather pieced in—which was also comes in camel with a sliver of silver—was wildly sexy thanks to the way it was styled falling slightly off the model’s shoulders. A sage-colored satin gown was subtler in its intentions, tied nonchalantly at the waist with a thick, off-white belt. The bombers—done in minty green, navy, and cream–should prove to be the smash hits, as will the black blazer with graphic punch-outs. Indeed, Johansson is most successful when he aims to make avant-garde more cool than freaky.