Each season, Acne designer Jonny Johansson builds on the idea of utilitarian daywear, yet taking it one more step further away from those simple shapes. 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Katerina Jebb—who used the archives of Paris' fashion museum, Musée Galliera, to build prints created from scanned historical documents—the clothes have to sell.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.
LONDON--Acne was the last show of a packed Sunday of London fashion week, and the fruity delicious cocktail offered to me by a lovely young guy wearing an all-black outfit (which included shorts, black knee socks, and black shoes), went down in about three seconds flat. If I could have pushed it via IV, I would have. Perhaps that line of thinking got me focused on medical stuff, but this Acne collection looked like it could have walked straight out of an orthopedic unit. The pants were shown with girdle-like belts that sort of reminded me of those back support garments that movers wear. Some whiplash neck braces popped up, too, and there were a lot of flesh-toned garments reminiscent of ACE-bandages. But all very avant garde.
Acne creative director Jonny Johansson is unabashed about his love for New York City. "My partner is from here, my child was baptized here...the dream is to be in New York," the designer told us at his first-ever US presentation, which took place last week at a warehouse near the Westside Highway. But will he, mascot of Stockholm, move here himself? "No, but my business partner is moving here. We want to show you guys what we can do."
LONDON--Although there's Whyred and Filippa K in my wardrobe, no Swedish designer dominates like Jonny Johansson. I own a lot of Acne. Why? Because it fits me well, and I feel good in it. So I was excited for this morning's show in Piccadilly. Johansson said in the notes that he was inspired by the women who work in his studio. "These girls make fashion out of nothing," he said of his team. "My girls are glamourous but not rich--they are cool."
Jonny Johansson's Pre-Fall collection for Acne was influenced by the women of Lismore Castle, a private Irish estate with past residents including Lady Charlotte Boyle and Adele Astaire, sister of Fred. "It inspired me to do something incredibly classic that I have never done before," said the designer. The result is a mix of mid-century silhouettes: midi skirts, shift dresses, pleated kilts, and mohair sweaters. We like.
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.”