Musicians at fashion shows? Sure. Opera singers at fashion shows? Never have I seen this. Yet, there he was, belting “Out to Sea,” the poem first performed by Swedish tenor Jussi Björling in the 1950s.
It was fitting, given the nautical nature of Acne designer Jonny Johansson’s spring collection. “I have always been surrounded by water where I live,” he said in the show notes. “We ended up with a collection based on our roots and with a lot of marine and workwear references.”
The not-so-basic basics were just right. Who doesn’t want a sailor dress, a yellow rain slicker, or a skinny suit dotted with tiny anchors? Johansson’s genius is in the tiny tweaks he made to these preppy favorites: the sailor dress was done of denim, the rain slicker’s sleeves shortened and cuffed, and the suit was rendered in black, with metal anchors instead of the typical embroidered emblems. Things were just slightly subversive, and at moments, even sexy. A red-and-cream mariner’s sweater, for instance, was worn off-the-shoulder with a pair of cropped navy trousers slung low at the waist.
The Paris shows are always incredibly exciting, mostly because the level of design and craftsmanship is unmatched in the other cities. But it’s nice, in the midst of all those extravagant, arresting, and (sometimes) dumbfounding shows, to see something that you actually want to buy.