One Foot in Bed, One Foot in Reality. Acne Studios AW21

The new season Acne Studios collection is quite close to Jonny Johansson‘s recent outings: incredibly tactile, playfully deconstructed and intentionally ‘unfinished’ if you know what I mean. The difference is that it’s a direct response to current lockdown feelings and isolation moods. Spending lockdown at his Swedish country house, the designer has found it a sort of pastoral escape from reality: “a dreamscape, fantasy situation,” he said. “It’s been quite an easy place to focus, a comforting world to be in.” There’s a certain relaxed, cozy feeling in the opening, vintage-y looks. Distressed dressing gowns and fuzzy fabric pajamas, floral nightgowns and distended knits appropriated the cutesy fabrics that furnish his home, thick knitted socks stuffed into sandals… so Acne Studios and so, so desirable right now, during what seems to be a global fatigue. Stripped back, some of the underlayers (notably a tie-dye, silken dress, or a button-down micro-floral ’90s number) were charming as well. Johansson explained he was also designing with the future in mind. His somewhat severe snapback to reality, which appeared toward the end of the collection, revolved around the weddings and funerals precluded by gathering restrictions – hence the monochromatics that followed a palette of well-washed pastels. It felt somewhat dystopian, gaping crochet and wader boots read more directly as apocalyptic than churchgoing attire, but a twisted lace version of a wedding dress or some black taffeta tailoring would certainly suit cocktail hour. This season, designers are grappling with the notion of a post-pandemic wardrobe, and nothing has yet been decided – although it feels unlikely that many people will want to extend a year spent in pajamas much longer than is strictly necessary. Acne Studios offers that in-between wardrobe, one foot in bedsheets, one foot in actual life.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.